Raising Questions

What should the Phillies do with Maikel Franco?

Perhaps no player on the current team produces such a divisive range of reactions as Maikel Franco. His .280/.343/.497 line of 2015 seems much longer ago, while is most recent line of .230/.281/.409 is difficult to swallow. He’s only 25, and yet he only seems to have regressed far beyond any normal expectations. There’s still hope, but there’s also a swing that produces weak contact and frustrating results. Some fans want to give him another shot. Others are ready to throw him away forever.

This offseason represents an opportunity for the Phillies to decide how Franco fits into their future. They could offer him one more shot by keeping his third base spot alone and promising he gets the reps. Doing this would basically tell Franco and everyone else that while time may be running out, the organization still has faith and is exercising patience.

The Phils could go outside the organization to challenge or unseat Franco. They could nab someone like Todd Frazier in free agency, or they could pull off a trade that brings them a third baseman. This move would ostensibly end Franco’s reign at the hot corner, though it’s possible a Frazier or someone could move to first base and other moves would follow.

Then there are in-house options. JP Crawford played some third base (and well) last season. Scott Kingery got some reps there in Lehigh Valley. Freddy Galvis could slide over there without much difficulty. Any of these options signifies a possible upgrade, though nothing is promised.

With the latter options, the Phils would have to do something with Franco. His value is low, so would the Phillies really decide that this player, who they’ve groomed and developed for so long, is worth zero and trade him for cash or some minor league filler?

I’m under the impression that the Phils are going to be a little more patient with Franco. With a new coaching staff and new approaches, maybe they give him until midseason to turn it around. If not, fine, cut bait and start thinking about Manny Machado or Josh Donaldson.

But some fans would rather the Phils just sever that leash now.

Where do you stand? Would you want to give Franco another couple hundred plate appearances? Are you ready to move on?

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Keg

    November 30, 2017 at 8:53 am

    I’m on the give him one more try side. He’s 25, and will probably hit 6th or 7th in the order. This should take some pressure off of him. 25 home runs and 80+ rbi’s out of that space in the order is pretty good. If he fails to change his approach/ swing we cut ties, and go aggressively after Machado. It probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to go after Machado even if he has a good season.

  2. Chuck

    November 30, 2017 at 8:54 am

    There is no reason to cut a 25 year old 3rd baseman with such amazing defensive abilities and at times flashes of being a power hitter. He would make a great #6 or 7 hitter until he turns it around. Give him AT LEAST another full season.

    • Chuck

      November 30, 2017 at 8:57 am

      Also now, the Phillies finally have other bats to put around him. I hated that they surrounded Ryan Howard with nobody and then blamed him.

  3. Bob D

    November 30, 2017 at 10:21 am

    Trade or cutting is short sighted. There is no true 3B to replace him until next year where they may want to spend money on an upgrade at 3rd. He has youth, his swing got better towards end of season, he has a heck of a glove and arm, and he is cheap and under team control for now. Galvis, Crawford, Kingery should be considered back plans at 3rd this year while giving Franco another shot.
    Most of the season he overswung (evident by losing his helmet so many times). But at the end of the season I saw a more controlled bat and better contact. He has potential to hit 280 with 25+ hr but have a somewhat low OBP. I say keep him

  4. Mike B

    November 30, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Ageeed. Way too early to give up on him, and there is really no downside to giving him one more opportunity this season. If they were ready to compete this year it would be a different story, but they have the time to continue to be patient.

  5. Bill Worth

    November 30, 2017 at 10:33 am

    put him in the mix with Galvis, Henandez, Kingery and Crawford, maybe even a healthy Valetin depending who is pitching, and (1) see whom is successful; and (2) kind of takes the pressure off being everyday…. Galvis became the leader, but even he needed days off against certain pitchers… play 3 of the 5 based on past success against pitching…. ohhh dare I say a Gene Mauch approach where he gets all 25 guys on the roster in games…. 3 of them will come out of the pack and be regulars…. Franco came on a little more late in the season when he saw competition… competition is a good thing… umm lets not pencil all three outfielders in this year too…. put Williams, Herrera, Altherr out there but get Quinn and Perkins (was too good in AAA in AAA, give more a chance in Majors)… same with Tommy Joseph to spell Hoskins… there are to many internal options to go after free agents … lot of young pitching as well… give them all a chance as well. save the money and use it of the guys Atlanta had to let go… after sneaking Appel and Tirando though waivers, is there anyone else they can do that with, other than the infielders we picked up on waivers ? – kind of doubt it, so remember a free agent addition means a subtraction…. by the way can you post the Phils 38 man AAA roster for the rule 5 draft, as well as whose left off that and available? is there any place to find that info on teams?

    • Jaron B

      November 30, 2017 at 12:10 pm

      The 40-man roster is available at http://m.mlb.com/phi/roster. Currently there are 11 or 12 that are on it that weren’t in the majors last year, mostly pitchers. That leaves 28 with some MLB experience. Kingery & Aschelman are not on it since they don’t need protection yet but expect to see them get invites. I don’t have the fill list of names that are eligible for selection in the Rule-5 but I know only 4 were protected and I think there were 12 on that list. I’m sure Googling “Phillies Rule 5” or something or perusing mlb.com will get you that list.

  6. Jaron B

    November 30, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    As for Franco, if the Phillies cannot package him in a trade for a starting pitcher, then keep him. I don’t know why Franco didn’t listen to Stairs. If he had, Maik would have recaptured some of the success he had in 2015. I think he can. Pencil him into the 6 or 7 spot until he produces. 25 HR and 80 RBIs at .275 is great considering we’re still in a pitchers’ era. Even though he’s arb-eligible, he still won’t make enough to justify non-tender. This is his last shot, IMO.

  7. Jeffrey Orbach

    November 30, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    If Todd Frazier is available cheaply, I would get him and put him at 3rd or 1st, move Hoskins to LF , trade one of the other outfielders and some other personnel for a starting pitcher. Franco needs to be pushed and getting Frazier would push him.

    He seems like the type of player who tends to take his foot off the gas, when he thinks he’s made it. He has to learn never to take his foot off the gas. Maybe sitting on the bench and watching a true professional play the position might make him realize what he needs to do.

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