Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said Maikel Franco was not in Tuesday night’s lineup against the Dodgers at Citizens Bank Park because he did not run to first base on a ground ball to Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner with the bases loaded and two outs in the third inning of Monday night’s loss.
Turner’s throw pulled first baseman Max Muncy off the bag, but because Franco never ran, Muncy had plenty of time to put his foot back on the bag to end the inning.
Kapler said that Franco is feeling some tightness in his groin, but he was not benched because he is injured.
“You guys know that these decisions or me taking a player out of the lineup in a punitive way is not my natural way of handling these type of situations,” Kapler said. “In this particular situation, I thought it was critical to address in part because right after some of the other incidents that we've had — I had a conversation with the club [at Nationals Park in Washington on June]. I shared with them that it's not an acceptable level of effort and that we have to do a better job, so I thought this was the right time to make a change in this situation.”
The Phillies have had at least a handful of instances this season when a player has not hustled while running the bases. In the past, Kapler has chosen to talk to the player about his actions rather than pulling him from a game or keeping him from the next day’s lineup.