No, Maikel Franco is not the answer to the Phillies issues at third base

Among the normal hustle and bustle of transactions, the Orioles made an interesting roster move yesterday. And it involves a former Phillie.

The Orioles have been an absolute dumpster fire this season, so naturally they want to give some of their younger players reps. Franco was blocking the way for someone younger, and thus found himself on the outside looking in.

Immediately after hearing this, many Phillies fans began to question if he would be an option for the team. Whether it was due to nostalgia or due to him being different from what we had when he was here, many wanted to reunite him with Freddy Galvis on the left side of the infield. With Alec Bohm being sent down for consistent playing time, the Phillies do have a hole at the hot corner.

However, bringing in Franco doesn’t make this team any better. Frankly, looking at Franco’s stats, Ronald Torreyes gives the Phillies a better chance to win. Franco hasn’t had a good season for the O’s, slashing .210/.253/.355 with 11 HRs and 47 RBIs. His ISO, while still above average, is the lowest of his career at .146.

Sure, he offers the team more power and another righthanded bat. But, for what purpose? His presence would just the manager another below average player to give too much playing time to.

While WAR isn’t necessarily a great stat to base arguments on, Franco’s WAR is exactly the same as Alec Bohm’s at -.2. Additionally, Franco’s defensive numbers are barely an upgrade over Bohm. We all know how dismal Bohm has been defensively, but Franco has been almost as bad.

At third base, Bohm has a DRS of -12. For those wondering, that means the Phillies gave up 12 more runs then they should have with Bohm at third base. For comparison, Franco has a DRS of -8 at the hot corner this year. A marginal improvement defensively over Bohm isn’t going to make this team a contender.

In fact, bringing in Franco will only strain the relationship between the team(I should say Girardi) and Bohm even further. Exactly what should happen with a team who struggles to make homegrown talent.

I have gotten over the fact that they sent Bohm down to Triple A. It was clear that Girardi was not going to play him, and sitting on the bench does nothing to fix his issues. Let him go down, clear his head, and get his mind right. Somewhere along the line, Bohm forgot how to just play baseball. Hopefully, some time in the Minors will allow him to get back on track.

That being said, a move to bring Franco in doesn’t move the needle enough to make Bohm’s demotion worth it. Nostalgia aside, Franco is a below average baseball player. He still struggles with the same things that made Phillies fans irate.

Joe Girardi already decided that one below average 28 year old journeyman was a better option than the third overall pick in 2018. It would be an indictment of both the intelligence of the World Series winning manager if he though two below average 28 year old journeymen were better. Not only that, but it would be another example of how flawed the Phillies’ developmental program is.

Girardi has given longer leashes to a number of players on this team than he has others. Players like Travis Jankowski and Didi Gregorius have been given ample time to try and get back on track. At the same time, players like Bohm and Nick Maton weren’t.

Bringing in Franco does nothing to make this team better. If anything, it makes them worse because it gives Girardi another veteran to overexpose. This type of move should be the last thing fans want. It’s the last thing the team should do to turn things around.

Buckle up, people. It’s going to be a bumpy ride to the finish.

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