Report: Phillies have discussed demoting Maikel Franco to Triple-A

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Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco has had a dismal season. Though his 2016 campaign wasn’t anything special, he hit 25 home runs and hit 88 RBI, showing enough promise that he could eventually become the Phillies’ third baseman of the future. This season, though, he’s skidding to a .209/.268/.349 batting line with only six home runs and 28 RBI in 190 plate appearances.

Franco looked so out of sorts at the plate that manager Pete Mackanin benched him for a couple of games during the team’s recent series against the Rockies. He’s once again not in the lineup for Tuesday’s game, though that’s apparently due to an illness.

Per CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury, Mackanin said that the idea of demoting Franco to Triple-A Lehigh Valley has been discussed. He still has options, so that call is entirely up to the team.

Franco isn’t the only Phillie struggling mightily at the plate. 2016 All-Star Odubel Herrera has a .592 OPS. Freddy Galvis has a .681 OPS, and Michael Saunders is at .673. That helps explain why the Phillies have baseball’s worst record at 17-32.

Guardians trade OF Will Benson to Reds for OF Justin Boyd

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CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Guardians traded outfielder Will Benson to the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday for outfielder Justin Boyd.

The defending AL Central champions also will get a player to be named from the Reds in the swap.

Cincinnati drafted Boyd in the second round last year out of Oregon State. He led the Pac-12 with a .373 batting average and 24 steals in 2022. The 21-year-old batted .203 in 73 at-bats for Class-A Daytona.

The 6-foot-5 Benson spent 28 games with the Guardians last season, batting .182 with three RBIs in 28 games. The 24-year-old struggled at the plate, striking out 19 times in just 55 at-bats.

Benson was once considered one of Cleveland’s top outfield prospects, but has since been surpassed by Steven Kwan, Oscar Gonzalez and Will Brennan.