The Phillies activated Maikel Franco from the DL this morning. Todd Zolecki made the announcement in his post today. He is expected to play this weekend. Jordan Hall got a couple quotes from manager Pete Mackanin in this article.
Playing Franco in meaningless games in Philadelphia is not that big of a deal. He would be playing in Instructs games in Clearwater anyway as he continues to ready himself for winter ball. He may as well play the games in the big league environment in Philadelphia in front of season ticket holders and Phillies’ execs.
If nothing else, it gets his five at bats and five innings on the field out of the Instructs line up each day and frees them up for Luke Williams and Jan Hernandez.
Zolecki’s post is incomplete. Franco played in a second Instructs game on Tuesday. In the two games, Franco batted ten times and went 2 for 10 with a single and home run.
I think Mackinon’s statement re: “swinging with authority” in Hall’s article is a little misleading. Franco did not make much hard contact in the two games I saw. His single was a soft line drive over the infield. He hit three easy fly balls to the outfield, popped up once. struck out looking once, and hit three routine ground balls – one a double play. The only ball hit hard was the towering home run to left center which barely cleared the fence.
Since they are activating Franco, I will mention something that I would have left in Clearwater since he was on rehab. Franco did not move well down the line. His last AB was a soft grounder to short where Randolph sold out on the take out slide affecting the throw, and Franco was still out by a large margin. I could have timed him with a sundial on his ground outs. I was concerned that he might have a leg injury. Or worse. It’s something I’ll keep an eye on this weekend in the series against Miami.