Phillies

Phillies have discussed sending Maikel Franco to Triple A to work out of hitting funk

Phillies have discussed sending Maikel Franco to Triple A to work out of hitting funk

MIAMI — Maikel Franco, who opened the season hitting fourth in the Phillies' lineup, could be sent to Triple A if he doesn't break out of his slump.

"We've talked about it," manager Pete Mackanin said before Tuesday night's game against the Miami Marlins. "That's about all I'll say. It's been discussed."

Franco has a hit in just three of his last 25 at-bats to fall to .209 on the season. His on-base percentage is a woeful .268 and he is slugging just .349.

Franco was benched for two days last week. Since then he has just two hits in 18 at-bats. He was not in the lineup on Tuesday night, but that was not a performance-based absence. Franco was ill.

"He's running a slight fever," Mackanin said.

Franco confirmed the illness and said he did not feel well Monday night.

Odubel Herrera was also out of the lineup as his performance-based benching continued for a second day (see story). Mackanin said Herrera would play Wednesday afternoon.

Herrera has had a dreadful month of May. In 25 games, he has hit .181 (19 for 105) with a .196 on-base percentage and a .257 slugging percentage. He has walked just once while striking out 29 times.

Last week, Mackanin talked about Franco's need to make changes at the plate. The 24-year-old third baseman pulls off many pitches, making himself vulnerable to soft stuff on the outside part of the plate.

"Befuddled is a good word," Mackanin said last week. "As much as he works in the cage and on the field in batting practice and does it right, when he gets in the game his head is still flying [out] and his bat is coming out of the zone.

"You've heard me say this many times: Hitting is like riding a bike. I can't teach you to keep your head in there. I can tell you to do it, but you have to do it on your own and he's got to figure it out. Guys have to figure it out. They have to figure out how to get the job done. Whether it's cut down on your swing, choke up, use a different bat, use a different stance, do something different. If you make outs the same way over and over, it's not going to change.

"At this level you've got to produce. You want to play, you've got to hit and they have to understand that. Nobody is here on scholarship."

At The Yard Podcast: Latest on Harper, Machado and one eye on Mike Trout

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At The Yard Podcast: Latest on Harper, Machado and one eye on Mike Trout

On this edition of At The Yard, Corey Seidman and Jim Salisbury discuss the latest with Bryce Harper and Manny Machado's free agency. Which rumors are true? Which rumors are just noise?

What is the potential of the starting rotation? What could the outfield look like with or without Harper?

Also, we're keeping one eye on Mike Trout. When should the Phillies begin their pursuit of the best player in baseball?

1:00 - The latest on Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.
4:00 - Jim thinks the Dodgers, Cubs, Yankees and Cardinals are in on Harper and/or Machado.
10:00 - Are the White Sox serious contenders for Machado?
15:00 - The guys answer questions from the audience.
19:00 - Difference Machado would make defensively.
25:30 - Opening day outfield without Harper.
31:30 - Is baseball's offseason too slow?
35:00 - Keeping an eye on Mike Trout.

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Roy Halladay looking like a Hall of Fame lock this year, based on votes gathered

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Roy Halladay looking like a Hall of Fame lock this year, based on votes gathered

On Jan. 22, we will find out whether Roy Halladay will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

And based on the votes compiled so far, Doc looks like a lock.

Ryan Thibodaux (@NotMrTibbs on Twitter) has been tracking and obtaining ballots from Hall of Fame voters for years. 

And his findings so far reveal that Halladay is trailing only Mariano Rivera on this year's ballot

Halladay has received 94.0 percent of the 179 votes obtained. It means that he needs only 59.6 percent of remaining votes to reach the 75 percent threshold needed for induction.

It is obviously extremely sad that Halladay will not get to experience it. There was no pitcher of his era who commanded more respect and that legacy will last for decades and decades and decades. It's hard to find anyone — a baseball player, manager, front office-type or writer — whom Halladay failed to make a positive, lasting impression on. It will be another bittersweet moment for fans of the Phillies, Blue Jays and baseball in general when Halladay is posthumously inducted. 

The induction ceremony will take place in Cooperstown on Sunday, July 21 at 1:30 p.m.

Curt Schilling may also get the call to the Hall this year. It's his seventh time on the ballot, and so far, he's received 73.9 percent of public/anonymous votes, which is just short. He'd need 75.9 percent of remaining voters to back him to reach the induction requirement.

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