Saturday, March 24, 2018

Grapefruit Game 29 - 2018 Topps Heritage #132 Maikel Franco

Phillies 8, Pirates 2
Spring Training Game 29 - Friday Afternoon, March 23rd in Bradenton
Record - 11-16-2

One Sentence Summary:  Maikel Franco hit a two-run home run and a grand slam in this 8-2 win over the Pirates.

What It Means:  Franco had entered the day with a .167 batting average so it was nice to see him bust out a little.

What Happened:  Aaron Nola showed he's probably ready for the regular season with four shutout innings and five strikeouts.  Jorge Alfaro kicked off the scoring for the Phillies in the second with a two-run double.

Featured Card:  I'm happy to post the first card of Franco for the year, as the third baseman had been scuffling through a quiet spring before his big day at the plate on Friday.

2018 Chachi Almsot #4
Camp Head Count:  41 - 5 = 36.  Prior to the game pitchers Pedro Beato and Tom Eshelman along with catcher Matt McBride and outfielder Collin Cowgill were all reassigned.  However, the team announced they'd all stick around with the big club until camp broke on Tuesday.

Also, infielder Adam Rosales was granted his release making him the fourth addition to the dubious Chachi Almost insert set.  Rosales hit just .237 this spring.

One final thought . . . This is right around the time each year the Phillies start finalizing the checklist for their first edition photo card team set, available for sale at the ballpark beginning at the home opener.  He won't be on the opening day roster, but it will be interesting to see if Scott Kingery makes the set.  Drew Hutchison and Francisco Rodriguez could find their way into the set as well, even if they don't make the cut for opening day.

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