(Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
Coming into the season, many people were not sure what to expect from Maikel Franco. In the past, we have been fooled by him. One minute we think he has finally put it all together, and the next he’s going through the worst slump of his career. The start of the 2019 season shows that Franco may finally be starting to put it all together. There is now no more pressure to produce in the middle of the lineup. With all the talent the Phillies added, they were able to slide him down to eighth in the order. To say he has thrived in that role would be an understatement.
Last night, he helped break open the game against the Mets with a three-run home run in the first. The homer would make it 8-0 and the Phillies would go on to win 14-3. After yesterday, it isn’t Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins, or JT Realmuto who leads the team in homers and RBI’s. Your team leader in home runs and RBI’s is Maikel Franco.
With his six home runs and 17 RBI’s, he has been instrumental in turning over the lineup and giving the Phillies one of the most potent lineups in baseball. Franco in the eight-hole gives opposing pitchers no chance to let their guard down. After you get through the middle of that Phillies lineup, you still have to contend with Franco at the bottom of it. Sticking someone like Maikel Franco at the bottom of the order is a luxury many teams aren’t afforded. I don’t see any reason to deviate from what is working. While he will eventually hit a slump, I believe his best baseball is still ahead of him. It might be tempting to move him up in the lineup, but just let him do his thing down in the eight hole for now.