Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Franco Already Getting Ready For 2016


Ready For The Winter? – So where has Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco been lately? Franco played the final three games of the 2015 regular season following a nearly two-month stint on the disabled list with a broken left wrist. He is scheduled to begin playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic with Gigantes del Ciabo as early as this week. "He took some time off, but he's supposed to be out there any day," Phils player development director Joe Jordan said Tuesday afternoon. Franco, 23, hit .280 with 22 doubles, one triple, 14 home runs, 50 RBIs and an .840 OPS in 335 plate appearances this season. He is a lock to be Philadelphia's 2016 Opening Day third baseman, provided he is healthy.

One Day, Three Teams – Baseball fans and pundits love to debate who they'd like to build a franchise around, if they were given the opportunity to do so. But on this day in 1997, the D-backs and the Rays actually had that opportunity in the MLB Expansion Draft. With the sixth pick in that draft, the then-Devil Rays selected a Venezuelan outfielder named Bobby Abreu (the Astros left him unprotected in favor of fellow Venezuelan outfielder Richard Hidalgo). Before Abreu could even pack his bags for sunny Tampa, however, the Rays turned around and traded him to the Phillies for shortstop Kevin Stocker. Within the span of about four hours, Abreu was an Astro and then a Devil Ray and then a Phillie. Over the next nine seasons, Abreu played in 1,353 games for the Phils and accumulated 1,474 hits before he was traded to the Yankees in 2006. He finished his career with 2,470 hits, 288 home runs, two All-Star appearances, a Gold Glove Award, a Silver Slugger Award and one incredible Home Run Derby performance.

The Phillies finally put an end to the season finishing in last place in the NL East with a record of 63-99. Given the departures, aging stars, injuries, and bipolar performances, this has ended up being one of the worst seasons in franchise history! However, at least Ryan Madson got another ring this year.

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