Maikel Franco's benching continues as Howie Kendrick Readies to Play 3rd Base in Minors | NBC 10 Philadelphia

Maikel Franco's benching continues as Howie Kendrick Readies to Play 3rd Base in Minors

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    Maikel Franco's benching continues as Howie Kendrick Readies to Play 3rd Base in Minors
    CSNPhilly.com
    Maikel Franco's benching continues as Howie Kendrick readies to play 3rd base in minors

    The benching of Maikel Franco lasted for a second day Wednesday.

    When will it end?

    "It's a day-to-day thing," Pete Mackanin said. "No specific plan."

    Franco is hitting just .221 with a .281 on-base percentage and a .377 slugging percentage.

    Mackanin first benched his third baseman/cleanup hitter on Tuesday. At the time, the manager said he was trying to take some heat off the slumping Franco and let him clear his mind, but the overriding reason for the benching is simple: Mackanin is looking for Franco to make the fundamental adjustments in his swing that will lead to more production.

    "At this level you've got to produce," Mackanin said Tuesday. "You want to play, you've got to hit and they have to understand that. Nobody is here on scholarship.

    "As much as he works in the cage and on the field in batting practice and does it right, when he gets in the game his head is still flying and his bat is coming out of the zone.

    "I can't teach you to keep your head in there. I can tell you to do it, but you have to do it on your own and he's got to figure it out. … If you make outs the same way over and over, it's not going to change."

    Franco on Wednesday said he understands the benching. He is disappointed in his production.

    "Yes, I'm disappointed," he said. "I know I can produce better and help the team more. Nobody wants to be in this situation, hitting .220. The only thing to do is try to get better.

    "I think any good hitter hitting .220 is going to be disappointed. I will not stop working and doing what I have to to get better."

    Typically, a manager, especially one such as Mackanin, whose strength is communication, would speak to a player and lay out the reasons for an extended benching.

    But Mackanin has chosen to let the lineup card do the talking on this one. He'd like to speak with Franco about the situation, but wants the player to come to him.

    It doesn't sound like that's going to happen.

    "They understand and I understand, you know?" Franco said. "I'm not the guy to go into the manager's office and say, 'Why am I not in the lineup?' I want to play. He knows what he's doing and I know what I'm capable of doing. Every single day when I come in, I'm 100 percent mentally ready to be in the lineup and I'm ready to play. If I'm not in the lineup, I have to get relaxed and just try to do everything I can to make an adjustment so when I'm in the lineup, I'll do my job."

    Andres Blanco played third base in place of Franco on Tuesday and Wednesday. If Franco doesn't improve when he gets back in the lineup - whenever that may be - there could soon be another player in the mix at third base.

    Howie Kendrick began a minor-league rehab assignment at Lehigh Valley on Wednesday night. He played left field in that game. Mackanin said the rehab stint would last four games and that Kendrick would also play first and third base.

    Do the math on that one.

    Franco can be optioned to the minors so that could also be a possibility if his problems persist.