Franco Is Coming
The Phillies announced this morning they have recalled Maikel Franco from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Franco is the No. 54 prospect in baseball, according to MLBPipeline.com. He is expected to be at third base tonight for the Phillies’ series opener against Arizona at Citizens Bank Park.
Franco’s arrival became imminent Monday, when the Phillies optioned third baseman Cody Asche to Triple-A, where is learning to become a left fielder.
Franco, 22, hit .355 (50-for-141) with 12 doubles, one triple, four home runs, 24 RBIs and a .923 OPS in 33 games with the IronPigs.
He has played well, but he also needed to spend 40 days in the Minor Leagues this season to avoid becoming eligible for free agency following the 2020 season. The 40th day was yesterday. By calling up Franco today, he can become a free agent following the 2021 season.
That was an important consideration for a rebuilding team.
“This was a baseball decision based on Maikel’s development and performance,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a statement. “We believe he is ready for the next step.”
The Phillies will make a corresponding roster move before tonight’s game. They currently have one extra relief pitcher on the roster.