Word leaked out, as the ‘Pigs close out the 2014 season in Moosic, that Maikel Franco will indeed get the call to the Phillies after the game today. In fact, rumor has it, he’ll start tomorrow for the Phillies in Atlanta. It’s been debated for weeks, and I’m happy it’s finally official.
I’ve been a strong supporter of the call: I think it will get the young man some experience that he can use to challenge for a spot in Spring Training. It’s not that I think he’s been ready during the season–too much inconsistency and some flaws in his game. However, the naysayers think I’m wrong. Let me address the concerns:
- He won’t get any playing time. I don’t care. He won’t get any in Allentown, either (the season’s over). He won’t get any at home sitting on his couch. Winter ball (It’s been reported that he’ll play, although not where) doesn’t start for a while. He just played an entire season of AAA baseball. Why not let him get some exposure to the Phillies big team, and let the coaches there see him now that he has a season of AAA under his belt. They haven’t seen him since March in Clearwater.
- He’ll develop bad habits. How can he develop bad habits if he’s not getting regular playing time? The first two concerns cancel each other out. It’s September. The Phillies are out of it. It should be a nice relaxed atmosphere for him to learn what he needs to do to take the next step.
- It will ruin him. Just like they did to Dom Brown. Nope. First, Maikel is a different guy. I know neither of them well–I’m just saying that the personalities and psyches might be different. Secondly, Dom was called, demoted, called again, and sat the bench for a team challenging for the pennant. This is a different team. With a different manager and a different outlook on the future. Plus, this is happening AFTER the season. The routine of AAA is over. Whatever development and experience Maikel was to receive at AAA has been completed–at least for this year. It’s not interrupting his season or taking away experience he could receive by playing every day, because that is over.
It’s a bonus and it’s a reward. I think everyone knows that Maikel is not the savior of the Phillies. It just makes sense.
Part of making room for the call-ups is making room on the 40-man. To that end, the Phillies yesterday traded with the Blue Jays: John Mayberry Jr for an A-AA 3B. This concludes JMJ’s time in the Phillies organization. I think he’s spent time with the IronPigs over more different seasons than any other player. And, as I said yesterday at the RailRiders game: I’ve seen enough. I mean no disparagement, but I’ve seen what he can do at AAA and in the Majors, and I’ve had it. Time for a fresh start elsewhere, Junior. It’s been real. It’s been nice. It hasn’t been real nice.
And as I finished typing, the season has officially ended. Tyler Henson strikes out with men on first and third and two outs, and the IronPigs lose to the RailRiders 4-1. They lost the continuation of yesterday’s game in a 2-1 walk-off, as well. They’ll finish in last place.
More to come on the 2014 IronPigs as we empty out the “drafts” file:
- Scranton is a Trip: A look back at our time in Moosic in 2013-2014.
- 2014 IronPigs Postmortem vol. 1: “A Season of Change”
- 2014 IronPigs Postmortem vol. 2: “Memories of a Season Gone By, Quickly”
- 2014 IronPigs Postmortem vol. 3: “The Season in Pictures”
- 2014 IronPIgs Postmortem vol. 4: “A Look Ahead: Players and Rosters for 2015”
See you at the arena, I guess,