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Phillies have discussed sending Maikel Franco to Triple-A

By Brandon Apter, Sports Talk Philly editor

The Philadelphia Phillies were once 11-9, showing improvement and progression towards the end of April. Oh, how things have changed. Since being two games over .500 at the end of April, the Phils have posted an abysmal 6-23 record and there aren't too many silver linings either.

One of their biggest weak spots recently has been the heart of the order. Both Odubel Herrera and Maikel Franco have struggled mightily, but out of the two, Franco has not looked the least bit himself since Opening Day. Now slashing just .209/.268/.349, Phillies skipper Pete Mackanin hinted at a potential demotion for Franco.

Franco, 24, was hitting .148 back on April 19, but looked to have figured some things out as the schedule moved on, raising his average to .224 by the end of the month. After two straight multi-hit games in early May against the Cubs, he hasn't done a whole lot, tallying just one two-hit game since May 4. He has just four hits in his last 29 at-bats and managed just one hit in the Phillies recent series against the Reds at home.

Mackanin and the Phillies will likely try and let Franco hit his way out of this slump for at least another week or so, but if things don't improve, a demotion might be good for him to get back on track offensively. 

Meanwhile, Franco's teammate Odubel Herrera has been equally as bad, hitting just .181 with 29 strikeouts in May while sporting a less than ideal on-base percentage of .196. He does have eight doubles, but has walked just once, so his plate discipline needs to get back to where it was last year rather than taking a swing at will apprach. While there has been no mention of Herrera getting demoted or benched, if he continues to struggle, Roman Quinn could be an option to take his place from Triple-A.



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