Per CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. said that third base prospect Maikel Franco is close to earning a promotion from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to the major leagues. Franco is currently batting .336/.359/.520 with three home runs and 17 RBI in 131 plate appearances with the IronPigs.
Franco, 22, made his major league debut in September last year, but struggled. He finished with a .404 OPS in 58 plate appearances. The Phillies entered play Monday averaging 2.84 runs per game, by far the lowest in baseball. As long as Franco doesn’t struggle the same way he did in 2014, he should be able to provide an offensive boost.
Current third baseman Cody Asche has struggled as of late, batting .145/.172/.200 in 58 plate appearances since April 23. Following Monday’s loss to the Pirates, the Phillies demoted Asche to Triple-A to get regular work in the outfield. That might help him retain some at-bats he might otherwise lose to Franco.