Philler Up! Franco, Giles, slugging centerfielders, Mr. 1,000, and other Phillies notes
by Scott Butler 5/31/14

Yeah…about that Major League call up you were hoping for

So, you are Maikel Franco and as you walk out of the clubhouse and toward the stairs leading to the dugout at Coca-Cola Park, you hear a familiar voice down a connecting corridor. You double back and confirm that voice is the General Manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, Ruben Amaro, Jr. You hide out of site but within ear shot as you hear Amaro mention your name. A reporter asks if he is considering you for the temporary job of third baseman while Cody Asche is on the disabled list. "He's just not playing good enough baseball yet," Amaro responds. "He's not really ready to be a big leaguer yet."

That is what Amaro told reporters this week.

"There's no reason to bring a guy up who's not swinging the bat very well," Amaro said.

Despite a solid month of May, Franco was batting .231 when Amaro made his comments on Tuesday and now sits at .238.

When the Phillies placed Asche on the disabled list Sunday, Ruben spoke of top prospect Maikel Franco as a "possibility" to ascend to the majors. Two days later, he changed his mind.

"He's just not playing good enough baseball yet," Amaro said. "He's not really ready to be a big leaguer yet."

Hundred Schmundred

The Phillies also had a chance this week to bring up the biggest Phillies name in the minors, but they went with De Fratus instead.

Righty Ken Giles with the 100 mph arm allowed two runs while earning a save last night, increasing his ERA to 2.31. Prior to that game, Giles had pitched 7 straight scoreless innings. Combining Lehigh Valley and Reading, Giles has a 1.69 ERA and has allowed just five earned runs on 15 hits and 12 walks while striking out 36 over 26 2/3 innings.

Ben Revere hit a ball that went over the fence without getting caught - this is called a home run.

It finally happened.  Ben Revere hit a home run in his 1,566th career plate appearance.

“It's about time - it's good to get that monkey off my back,” Revere said. “When I got to second base, I didn't know what to do.”

Before the long ball, Revere hadn’t hit a home run in nearly 3 years: he hit a solo home run on May 30, 2011, at Rochester against the Toledo Mudhens.

Ryne Sandberg acknowledged he didn't think he'd ever see Revere homer in a major league game.

"No," Sandberg said. "[But] he hits them all the time in batting practice."

Dobo The Clown

2014 has been an utterly forgettable season for Domonic Brown, whose batting average dipped below .200 after flying out in his first at-bat last night. Dobo hit a big three-run homer in his next at-bat to give him three for the season.

Prior to the game and before the home run Brown still, somehow, remains positive.

"If I'm playing every day and getting my number of at-bats, everything's going to be all right," said Brown, a 20th-round draft pick in 2006. "You're going to go through ups and downs. I just had a bad month. That's part of baseball, but it definitely makes you a better person and a better player. You definitely see who your real friends and real teammates are when you're going through tough times.

"It's still been fun. I can't lie. I come to the ballpark every day, looking to see if my name's in that lineup, to get here and get a pitch to hit and drive it hard."

Brown is still having fun in a miserable season. Good luck finding another .200 hitter to provide the same statement.

Ryne Sandberg could have benched Brown the moment Darin Ruf joined the team and not a sole would have argued with the decision. But Ryno quite literally is giving Brown a vote of confidence.

"Those are opportunities for that player, chances for that player and a vote of confidence from me," Sandberg said a day earlier. "It shows I have confidence in them to get it going."

"Not at this stage," Ruben Amaro Jr. said when asked if sending Brown down was an option. "We have to get Dom right here before we start thinking about that stuff."

Not even to give him a short mental break from a major league slump?

"No," Amaro said. "Dom's got to keep playing. He's got to keep getting opportunities to play . . . We have to have him get back to swinging the way he can."

Other random Phillies stats and stuff

Jonathan Papelbon is one save shy of the 300th of his career, a mark only 25 pitchers in major league history have reached.

Ryan Howard is three RBI short of 1,000 in his career and well on his way to becoming the fastest player in major league history to reach 1,000 RBI. Albert Pujols set the record by getting his 1,000th RBI in his 1,257th game, while Howard played in game 1,229 last night.

Bastardo likes long walks in the park

Antonio Bastard pitched an inning, an entire inning, without a walk last night.  It was just the seventh time in 25 appearances he managed to escape an outing without a walk. He has walked the first batter he faced in nine of those 25 outings.

Bastardo has issued 18 walks in 24 2/3 innings this season, a rate of 6.6 walks per nine innings. His walk rate before 2014 was 4.2 per nine. He has also thrown first-pitch strikes to just 53.7 percent of batters compared to 68.7 percent last season.

"Whether it's mechanical or whatever it is, he's just missing out of the zone," the Phillies manager said. "It's been more significant this year than in the past. It's something that he just has to work on; you need those strikes coming out of the bullpen."

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