Maikel Franco among four suspended in Dominican Winter League

By Theo DeRosa, Sports Talk Philly staff

Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco was one of four players suspended by the Gigantes del Cibao of the Dominican Winter League, ESPN Deportes reported Sunday.

Franco, first baseman Garabez Rosa, outfielder Moisés Sierra and backup catcher Eduardo De Oleo were suspended and temporarily removed from the roster of the Gigantes for violating the team's discipline code, owner Samir Rizek told ESPN Digital.

Franco and his teammates were photographed at a bar at 6 a.m., according to a tweet from Dominican news source CDN37; the Gigantes played at 4 p.m. that day.

The four players remained at a party until dawn on Saturday, on which they had an evening postseason game against the Tigres de Licey. In the game, Franco went 0-3. Sierra, who leads the Liga de Beisból Domincano in batting average at .353, struck out in his first at-bat and was subsequently ejected for arguing with the umpire. Rosa went 3-3; De Oleo didn't play.

Franco went 4-20 in the postseason for the Gigantes with a double and three RBI, according to ESPN Deportes. Franco, a native of the Dominican Republic, has played for the team for the last five seasons.

The team's roster also includes current MLB players Rob Refsnyder of the New York YankeesKetel Marte of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and Leury García and Juan Minaya of the Chicago White Sox. Phillies prospect Seranthony Dominguez is also on the roster, as are former Phils Antonio Bastardo and Raúl Valdes. 

The Gigantes are 2-6 in the postseason and with the suspensions of Franco and Sierra may find themselves in the basement of the DWL. It remains to be seen when Franco and his teammates will be reinstated.

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