By PATRICK GORDON | Managing Editor
February 22, 2016, 3:45 P.M. EST.
On the eve of the Phillies first full-squad workout, Maikel Franco is the only position player not yet in camp.
Typically, position players arrive the day before the first full workout to complete their physical and to meet with coaches.
“He’s due to be here tomorrow,” said Phillies manager Pete Mackanin. “If he’s due to be here tomorrow, he’ll be here tomorrow. I’m not going to be critical of anybody who doesn’t come early. If we wanted guys to come two weeks ago we should have a longer spring training.”
Franco, 23, hit .280 with 14 home runs, 22 doubles, 50 RBI and an .840 OPS in 80 games with the Phillies last season and was a Rookie of the Year candidate before suffering a small fracture in his left hand after getting hit by a pitch in early August.
Mackanin was clear on Monday that he wasn't bothered by Franco being the last position player to arrive in Clearwater.
“Tomorrow is the required report date as far as I know; today there were physicals given,” Mackanin said. “If tomorrow is the date, we’re going to give him a physical in the morning. In my mind, I’m not going to nitpick that. Like I said, he’s not that kind of guy, but if he turns into a lazy and he doesn’t work like he always does, then I have an issue. But he’s going to work hard.
“He’s in for a long season. He played winter ball. Whenever he gets here as long as he’s here when he’s supposed to be, I’m fine with it.”
Strangely enough, even if Franco were to miss the Phillies report date, he technically has until March 1 before Major League Baseball would classify him as being late. The Collective Bargaining Agreement states that “no player shall be required to report to spring training workouts more than thirty-three (33) days prior to the start” of the regular season, which is on April 3 this year.
“I’ll be disappointed if during the season he doesn’t hustle, or if during the season he does something where he doesn’t show a great work ethic,” Mackanin said. “He has a great work ethic. That’s the one thing about him. He comes out early every day to take extra ground balls around 3 o’clock at home. He’s willing to work and he has a strong work ethic. As long as he plays hard, hustles and continues to prepare for games properly, I have no issues.”
Aside from Franco, reliever Yoervis Medina is the only other player that hasn't reported to camp and he's dealing with visa issues.
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