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Maikel Franco benched for lack of hustle

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Phillies manager Gabe Kapler did not include third baseman Maikel Franco in Tuesday night’s lineup against the Dodgers because Franco didn’t hustle on a grounder he hit in the third inning on Monday, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports. Franco is also dealing with groin tightness, but Kapler specified that Franco’s absence is punishment.

This was the play in question:

Franco is not the first Phillie to not hustle this season. Shortstop Jean Segura didn’t hustle on two separate occasions, but Kapler chose not to punish him. Kapler said, “Jean is one of our eight best players. I don’t think taking one of our eight best players and our shortstop out of our lineup is what’s best for the Philadelphia Phillies.”

This time around, Kapler said, “You guys know that these decisions or me taking a player out of the lineup in a punitive way is not my natural way of handling these type of situations. In this particular situation, I thought it was critical to address in part because right after some of the other incidents that we’ve had — I had a conversation with the club [at Nationals Park in Washington on June]. I shared with them that it’s not an acceptable level of effort and that we have to do a better job, so I thought this was the right time to make a change in this situation.”

Brad Miller started at third base in Franco’s place on Tuesday night and hit a two-run homer in the second inning.

Franco, 26, is hitting .238/.304/.440 with 15 home runs and 45 RBI in 313 plate appearances on the season.

Cards’ Yadier Molina says he tested positive for COVID-19

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St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina says he’s one of the players on the team who tested positive for COVID-19.

The nine-time All-Star revealed his results Tuesday in a Spanish-language Instagram post. Soon afterward, the Cardinals issued a release naming six of the players who have tested positive.

The others are infielders Paul DeJong, Edmundo Sosa and Rangel Ravelo along with pitchers Junior Fernandez and Kodi Whitley.

“I am saddened to have tested positive for COVID-19, even after adhering to safety guidelines that were put in place,” Molina said in a release issued by the team. “I will do everything within my power to return as soon as possible for Cardinals fans, the city of St. Louis and my teammates.”

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said Monday that seven players and six staff members had tested positive. At the time, Mozeliak said the people to test positive hadn’t been identified publicly because they had declined to have their names released.

The Cardinals said Tuesday that six players had decided to grant permission to have their names revealed.

“I will approach my healing as I do all other things in my life – with education, commitment, and persistence. I look forward to re-joining the team soon and ask that you respect my privacy at this time,” DeJong said in a statement released by the team.

The outbreak resulted in the postponement of the Cardinals’ scheduled three-game weekend series at Milwaukee as well as a four-game series with Detroit that was supposed to run Monday through Thursday. The Cardinals have played just five games this season and are hoping to return to action Friday hosting the Chicago Cubs.

As of now, the Cardinals who have tested positive have returned home while the rest of the team remains isolated in Milwaukee hotel rooms. Their last game was July 29 at Minnesota.

Mozeliak said Monday that five of the 13 overall members of the Cardinals’ traveling party to test positive were asymptomatic. The other eight had minor symptoms including headaches, coughs, sniffles and low-grade fevers. Mozeliak said none of the eight had required hospitalization.

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