This doesn’t exactly rate as a surprise, but third baseman Maikel Franco’s time with the Phillies is nearing an end, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer observes. Although Franco has had a stranglehold on the third base position in Philly since his career began in earnest in 2015, the former high-end prospect has clearly fallen out of favor this year. The club demoted him to Triple-A earlier in the season, and though he has since returned, Franco hasn’t gotten his job back. With the Phillies in a heated battle for a playoff spot, they’ve mostly turned to Scott Kingery, Brad Miller and Sean Rodriguez at the hot corner over the past several weeks. It’s understandable the team has all but given up on Franco, who simply hasn’t provided much value since he burst on the scene as a rookie. The 27-year-old has posted minus-0.3 fWAR in 392 plate appearances this season, thanks in no small part to a weak .239/.301/.419 batting line. Franco figures to earn more than his current $5.2MM salary in arbitration over the winter, so it seems quite possible the Phillies will non-tender him.
More from Philadelphia and a couple other East Coast cities…
- After firing president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski on Sunday, the Red Sox are in the market for a new leader of that department. However, it’s not a lock Dombrowski’s successor will have the same title, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports. Dombrowski was the first executive in franchise history to earn president of baseball ops honors, and the club might not be as eager to go that route again this time. The Red Sox could instead name a general manager and have that person report to team president Sam Kennedy, Bradford notes.
- Injured Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki hasn’t been in the club’s lineup since Sept. 5, and that’s not going to change “for at least a few more days,” Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post tweets. Manager Dave Martinez said Thursday that Suzuki, who has been dealing with right elbow inflammation, still hasn’t returned to throwing. Yan Gomes has caught every game in Suzuki’s absence, but the untested Raudy Read will draw into the lineup sometime over the weekend, per Dougherty. Between Gomes and Suzuki, the former has been the better defender this year. On the other hand, Suzuki (.260/.319/.473 in 301 PA) has outhit Gomes (.210/.310/.352 over 306 PA) by a significant margin.
- An MRI revealed that Phillies outfielder Corey Dickerson suffered a bruised navicular bone in his left foot Wednesday, Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer relays. That may sound worse than it is, as the Phillies don’t believe Dickerson would be at risk of doing further damage to his foot by playing. It’ll be a “pain management issue” for the rest of the season, though, according to manager Gabe Kapler. Dickerson’s both a key member of the playoff-contending Phillies’ offense and a pending free agent, meaning it would behoove both parties to make sure he’s healthy enough to take the field. The 30-year-old has enjoyed a strong platform season between Pittsburgh and Philly, having batted .304/.341/.565 with a dozen homers in 279 PA.