'It's all part of it,' but what's next for Maikel Franco's future with Phillies?

'It's all part of it,' but what's next for Maikel Franco's future with Phillies?

While the Phillies were in Phoenix on Wednesday night, Maikel Franco was in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Prior to his game with Triple A affiliate Lehigh Valley, Franco was wearing a shirt with a saying across the front:

"It's all part of it."

Franco is ready to embrace the next part of his baseball career, which has been a demotion from the Phillies to the minor leagues. The big club optioned Franco to the IronPigs last Sunday in a sudden and somewhat surprising move given the 26-year-old had been the Phillies' starting third baseman for the past four opening days.

"For me, I just want to say I feel great," Franco said Wednesday at Coca-Cola Park, via NBC Sports Philadelphia's Amy Fadool. "I know it's a tough moment for me, but at the end of the day, I'm just trying to come in and try to do everything I can do to feel myself, try to just get better every single day."

Following a torrid start in which he put up six homers, 17 RBIs and 11 walks over his first 16 games, Franco cooled off considerably. Since May 7, he hit .217 with a .273 on-base percentage, eight homers and 22 RBIs in 68 games. With the play of Adam Haseley, the addition of Corey Dickerson and the eventual return of Jay Bruce, the Phillies' outfield has become crowded. 

So now the team is ready to make Scott Kingery its everyday third baseman.

"With Maikey, he doesn't play multiple positions. He plays one position and he hasn’t really hit left-handed pitching well," manager Gabe Kapler said Sunday (see story). "So we have a left-handed power bat and on-base threat in Brad Miller and we definitely want to have that profile available on our bench, especially when we have a guy like Corey Dickerson and potentially he and Jay Bruce together in the lineup.

“This felt like an appropriate time to make a very difficult move for our clubhouse because we all care deeply about Maikel Franco. He's an exceptional teammate and person and we all love him."

Franco is taking the decision in stride.

"I'm not going to say I feel happy," he said. "I understand the situation, I understand what happened."

If Franco is not viewed as the team's everyday third baseman or a valuable bench piece, does he wonder about his long-term future with the Phillies?

"It's not my decision," Franco said. "At the end of the day, it's not something that I can control. I just try to turn the page.

"For me, I know what I'm capable of doing, I know my talent, I know I have potential. 

"You're going to have some struggles, it's going to happen for everybody, it's going to happen for every good player. You're going to have those moments. When those moments come, you have stay positive and forget everything."

Franco's focus will turn to his performance at Lehigh Valley and being ready for when rosters expand in September. Where will the Phillies stand in the playoff race and how will they need Franco? Time will tell.

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Philly area minor league baseball jawn really running with it for a day

Philly area minor league baseball jawn really running with it for a day

Minor League Baseball jawns typically only find themselves in the news when they do something unique and quirky. Today is one of those days.

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs will change their name for one day only next month in a "salute to Philly."

They'll be the "Jawn."

From the release, with a truly amazing quote:

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs are paying tribute to Philadelphia in a special way for one night only on Sunday, July 7 when they take the field against the Pawtucket Red Sox.  The IronPigs will be changing their name to “Jawn”, a salute to Philadelphian’s roots for calling a person, place or thing – a Jawn.

"Each year, we try to come up with new and exciting jawns for our fans," said IronPigs President and General Manager Kurt Landes. "We've had cheesesteak jawns, Philly Special jawns, bacon jawns and more. We think this jawn is one of our best jawns yet. We can’t wait to see the Pigs wear their Jawn jawns on July 7!"

Amazing. Either you think this is great or awful. And if you find yourself in the former category, you can pick up a sweet "jawn" hat or t-shirt at RedJawn.com.



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Triple A Lehigh Valley IronPigs win one of the craziest slugfests you'll see

usa_dylan_cozens.jpg
USA Today Images

Triple A Lehigh Valley IronPigs win one of the craziest slugfests you'll see

The Phillies didn't do much hitting Saturday night in Miami but their Triple A affiliate sure did.

In a game that featured a combined 43 hits and 15 home runs — yes, seriously — the Lehigh Valley IronPigs defeated the Rochester Red Wings, 20-18, Saturday.

Dylan Cozens, Sean Rodriguez, Andrew Romine and Jan Hernandez each hit two home runs for the Phillies’ Triple A affiliate, which is 8-2. Rodriguez and Hernandez drove in five runs apiece, Romine had four RBI and Cozens had three. 

Through 10 games, the powerful but whiff-prone Cozens has hit .200/.341/.600 with four homers, 10 RBI, a triple, eight walks and 17 strikeouts. 

Roman Quinn played center field and led off, going 2 for 7 with a pair of runs scored. 

Edubray Ramos allowed one run in the ninth but earned the save.

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