During the past six seasons, Maikel Franco and Cesar Hernandez were constants in an otherwise ever-fluctuating Phillies lineup. That changed on Friday, when both players made debuts for their new teams.
Franco, now a member of the Kansas City Royals, played 656 games as a Phillie during his career before getting non-tendered this offseason. After his career got off to a great start during his rookie season, Franco was never able to reach a consistent level of productivity.
Facing Shane Bieber and the Cleveland Indians in his Royals debut, Franco went 0-for-4 and struck out three times as his team got shut out in a 2-0 loss. Franco signed a one-year, $2.95 million contract with the Royals this offseason.
In the same game, Hernandez, now a member of the Indians, went 1-for-4 in his debut. Batting leadoff as he did 433 times throughout his Phillies career, Hernandez’s lone hit came in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI double down the third base line to extend his team’s lead to 2-0.
Hernandez was the leader in several offensive categories for the Phillies over the past decade, including hits, walks and runs scored. The Indians signed him to a one-year, $6.25 million contract in December.
Miami Marlins outfielder Corey Dickerson made his return to Citizens Bank Park on Friday after a brief but effective stint as a Phillie last season. In 34 games, Dickerson slashed .293/.307/.579 and drove in 34 runs.
Dickerson had a good night against his former team, going 2-for-4 with a double and scoring a run on a Ramon Rosso wild pitch during the Marlins four-run sixth inning. The Marlins signed Dickerson to a two-year, $17.5 million contract this offseason.
Drew Smyly, who had a 4.45 ERA in 12 starts with the Phillies last season, reunited with former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler in San Francisco. On Thursday night, Smyly made his season debut out of the bullpen, pitching one scoreless inning in relief.
Former Phillie Hoby Milner, who had a 2.01 ERA in 37 appearances with the team in 2017 before struggling in 2018, made his debut with the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night. It did not go well for Milner, who surrendered a walk-off grand slam to the only batter he faced, Matt Olson.
Cole Hamels, who is one of the best starting pitchers in Phillies history, was recently placed on the 45-day injured list due to triceps issues. Hamels, who signed with the Atlanta Braves to a one-year, $18 million contract this offseason, will have to wait until at least September to make his debut with the team.
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