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Phillies re-assign Maikel Franco to minors

The Phillies on Saturday re-assigned top third base prospect Maikel Franco to minor-league camp.

This move projects what has been believed by many since the end of the 2013 season — that Cody Asche will be the opening day third baseman for the Phillies. However, manager Ryne Sandberg refused to fully acknowledge this.

“Cody will play in these games and get ready for the start of the season and then we’ll go from there,” Sandberg told reporters including CSNPhilly’s Jim Salisbury.

Asche is hitting just .175 (7 for 40) in spring training. He has homered in 2 of his past 3 games though, and seems to be getting more comfortable with his swing as of late.

Franco, who had an incredible 2013 season between Class A Clearwater and Double A Reading, hitting a combined .320 with 31 home runs and 103 RBIs in 134 games, struggled in camp with the Phillies. Franco had just seven hits, all singles, in 38 at-bats in Grapefruit League action. However, Franco has shown off his strong arm at third base and has played solid defense for the Phillies in spring training.

It remains to be seen whether Franco will start the 2014 campaign with Double A Reading or Triple A Lehigh Valley.

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