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Pay Machado, Fire Mackanin, Franco's A Bitch

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I almost made it through a quarter of the season being somewhat content with this lineup. Now the manager, I have always been displeased with him. The bullpen, which I gave praise to prior to the season, has been deplorable. The starting rotation is only averaging 5 1/3 innings pitched per start and have the 6th worst ERA in the MLB at 4.68. However, this lineup, mainly with the addition of Aaron Altherr had given me a sense of purpose again as a Phillies fan. But after last night, I need change and it begins and ends with Maikel Franco.

Seidman is always throwing out the most obscure and depressing Phils stats in the Twittersphere. I mean 79-2 when scoring 9+ runs. Make it 79-3. Franco’s error in the 7th was costly, but his ineptitude at the plate is concerning, to say the least. Seidman also threw this little diddy out in the postgame show which he didn’t tweet. I fact checked it and he is 100% correct. Since June of 2015, Maike Franco has not hit .280 in any given month. So far this season as our cleanup hitter, he is hitting .200 with RISP and has a .667 OPS, which is 2nd worst in all of the MLB for a cleanup guy. I mean just look at these at-bats from last night, he is in way over his head in this role.

The 25 RBI he has produced so far this season has blinded everyone who has watched him closely. Let’s not forget that 8 of them have come on two swings. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt, I really do. Franco was one of the few prospects to emerge during a really tough 8-10 year stretch of developing talent in a system that Rueben Amaro had gutted. He showed so much promise his rookie year at just 22 years old and well into his sophomore season too. He is still only in his age 24 season, but with it being his 4th year as a pro he is only a .239 career hitter with Men On Base. He is not a cleanup hitter. His 5 errors at 3b are the most in the National League. If by some miracle he can fix all of these terrible habits he has formed on both sides of the diamond throughout his career and does it within the next calendar year, than it is #PAYMACHADO2018.

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We all know that pitching is a problem, but now it’s getting out of control. April is over and so far in May, starters are pitching to a 6.86 ERA. Jerad Eickhoff looked terrible yesterday. Absolutely zero command on his fastball and was hanging that curve and change like a beach towel in the wind. In the MLB a 91 MPH pitch is like sex to a lineup, especially one in the American League. And when you completely forgo any off-speed pitch to compliment that fastball, well you are going to get murdered. That’s what it has been like the past 2 starts for Eickhoff. I hate to use the phrase “dead arm,” because that is something a skinny prick like myself gets in his Sunday league after pitching a double header. Not a 6′ 4 245 lb Major league pitcher. Figure it out.

Lastly, have we figured out Pat Neshek’s role yet? Is he the tied game guy who comes in after Joely Rodriguez blows the game? Franco’s error certainly hurt last night, but leaving him in to face Nelson Cruz in the top of the 6th and allowing him to pitch 39 pitches is just idiotic. I know Pete doesn’t have much to work with, but the way he managed a 9-5 lead yesterday is a fireable offense.

Zach Eflin v. Yovani Gallardo today for a little afternoon delight. Eflin has twirled 2 straight gems and Gallardo is a tee ball pitcher. Franco has the day off and Michael Saunders is hitting cleanup. Go Phils.