As was widely reported on Monday, the Phillies are slated to promote third baseman/first baseman Maikel Franco to the big leagues with the expansion of rosters in September.
The right-handed hitting Franco, who turned 22-years-old last week, pledged in an interview for Phillies Nation’s television program in late June that he was about to turn on the offense and he came through on that promise. After sporting a .209 average with 22 extra base hits in 78 games through the end of June, the Dominican Republic native tallied a .324 average with 31 extra base hits in the 55 games that followed for Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Also joining Franco among players moving from the IronPigs to the majors are relievers Mike Adams, Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez and Luis Garcia, utility man Cesar Hernandez, catcher Cameron Rupp and outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr.
The righty Adams had been rehabbing an injured throwing shoulder after being sidelined in early June. The 36-year-old allowed an earned run in three innings of work over three appearances with the Pigs dating back to last Tuesday.
Gonzalez, a Cuba native, made news last year when he was signed to a three-year contract worth $12 million last year. The 27-year-old, who has been steadily clocked in the mid-90’s with his fastball this year, pitched at three levels of the developmental ranks this season. In 31 games, Gonzalez posted a combined 0-4 record with seven saves and a 3.11 ERA while striking out 54 batters and walking 26 over 46 1/3 innings.
Garcia was a beast for the IronPigs this season, posting a 2-1 record with 22 saves, a 0.96 ERA and a 10.03 K/9 mark. The 27-year-old right-hander appeared in four games with the Phillies earlier this season, but allowed eight earned run in 5 2/3 innings (12.71 ERA).
Hernandez, who also spent some time in the big leagues this season, batted .225 with a .556 OPS in 52 games with the Phillies this season. Additionally, the 24-year-old switch hitter put together a .290 average with a .751 OPS in 66 minor league contests at two levels this season.
Rupp, the Phillies’ third round draft pick from 2010, batted .165 with six homers and 19 RBI in 56 games for Lehigh Valley this season. The 25-year-old has posted a .211 average with eight RBI in 21 big league games.
Gwynn was with the Phillies through much of the season before being designated for assignment in July. In 20 games with Lehigh Valley, the 31-year-old batted .290 with a home run and seven RBI.
The group is expected to join the Phillies as they continue their series in Atlanta on Tuesday.
MLB rosters expand from a 25-man maximum to the entire 40-man roster on September 1st. The minor league regular season ended on Monday.