The Phillies have at least held internal discussions about giving third baseman Maikel Franco some time at Triple-A, manager Pete Mackanin told reporters including Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. Though nothing has been decided, and Mackanin was non-committal, that’s certainly a notable development. Franco, 24, has long been viewed as a building block for the Phils. But he took a step back last year after an excellent 2015 season, and currently owns a disappointing .209/.268/.349 slash through 190 plate appearances in the current campaign.
Here’s more from around the National League:
- It’s still not clear just when righty Carter Capps will make his Padres debut. As Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports on Twitter, skipper Andy Green indicated that the reliever “drew mixed reviews” for his work on the bump yesterday. He’s scheduled to throw against live hitters in another controlled scenario on Friday. Capps, who missed all of 2016 due to Tommy John surgery, has struggled in eight rehab appearances thus far.
- The Reds have optioned righty Robert Stephenson to Triple-A, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweets. He’ll be replaced by fellow right-hander Jackson Stephens. Things have not gone as hoped for the former first round draft pick. Through 24 2/3 innings in 13 appearances, he carries an 8.03 ERA. Stephenson has been knocked around for 33 hits (including seven long balls) while recording 27 strikeouts against 16 walks. It remains to be seen whether he’ll return to starting upon his return to the minors.
- With several starters nearing returns, the Mets may again have a bit of extra rotation depth. That will likely force righty Robert Gsellman to the pen — and possibly, into quite a prominent role there. As Kevin Kernan of the New York Post writes, some within the Mets organization believe Gsellman’s stuff and attitude make him a good fit for the closer’s role. Addison Reed is currently filling in for the injured Jeurys Familia in the ninth.