With INF/OF Brad Miller (hip) being activated from the 10-day injured list on Sunday, someone had to be removed from the 25-man major league roster as a corresponding move.
Surprisingly, that player was third baseman Maikel Franco.
The Phillies optioned the six-year veteran to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Sunday, after he slashed just .217/.272/.354 since May 2. Scott Kingery will likely now see most of the starts at the hot corner, while Roman Quinn and Adam Haseley will share time in center field.
To be clear, I don't think this is necessarily the wrong decision. Sean Rodriguez honestly serves more of a purpose on Phillies' bench right now than Franco because of his career-long ability to hit lefties and his positional versatility.— Corey Seidman (@CSeidmanNBCS) August 4, 2019
Maikel Franco, demoted this morning, exited the #Phillies clubhouse with an escort, wearing street clothes and a backpack, clearly upset and angry. “No,” he said. “I can’t talk right now.”— Marcus Hayes (@inkstainedretch) August 4, 2019
According to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury, the Phillies "did not feel like Franco’s skill set was fit for bench role," and as The Athletic's Matt Gelb notes, the last time Franco was not on either the Phillies' active roster or injured list was May 14, 2015. Manager Gabe Kapler also told reporters that Sean Rodríguez "has more versatility" than Franco as the righty bench bat.
Through 635 career games, Franco has slashed .249/.302/.431 with 106 doubles, 100 home runs and 334 RBI.