With Maikel Franco in an extended slump, manager Pete Mackanin moved his struggling slugger down in the lineup.
The Phillies stuck with the same lineup as they posted prior to Friday's rainout with Franco moving down to the sixth spot in the lineup, the lowest he's been all season. In fact, all but one of his starts have come in the cleanup spot. However, Mackanin wanted to take some of the pressure off Franco, who is 0 for his last 15 (see story). Franco was given a day off on Wednesday, although he did pinch hit.
In his place, a surging Tommy Joseph moved in the cleanup spot and Michael Saunders is batting fifth. After a forgettable April, Joseph is batting .393/.500/.857 with three home runs and four doubles in nine games this month. Joseph has primarily batted sixth this season with a few starts higher in the lineup and two starts batting seventh.
While there are changes lower in the lineup, Aaron Altherr's continued roll keeps him third in the lineup. Altherr has four home runs in his last three games and has at least one HR and three RBI in each of those contests. He has the fourth highest OPS in baseball among players with at least 85 plate appearances. In 142 fewer plate appearances, he already has five more extra-base hits than he did last season. He's also cut down on his strikeout rate and upped his walks, showing better plate discipline across the board.
Altherr leads a lineup that will face Tanner Roark on Saturday night. Roark has started seven games against the Phillies in the last two seasons and has a quality start each time out (see game notes).
Here's the full Phillies lineup that will face Roark on Saturday.
1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Odubel Herrera, CF
3. Aaron Altherr, LF
4. Tommy Joseph, 1B
5. Michael Saunders, RF
6. Maikel Franco, 3B
7. Cameron Rupp, C
8. Freddy Galvis, SS
9. Nick Pivetta, P