Franco suspended 1 game by winter ball team

January 8th, 2018

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco was suspended from his winter ball team in the Dominican Republic for partying until the early morning Sunday.

He has since been reinstated to the active roster. The Phillies declined to comment.

ESPN Deportes reported that Franco's team suspended him and three of his teammates for partying despite a game Sunday afternoon. The report said they were suspended to send a message to their teammates, fans and sponsors.

Franco, 25, apologized to teammates, staff, fans and sponsors. He was returned to the active roster Monday.

This is a big season for Franco, whose offensive production has been tumbling since 2015. He posted a .690 OPS in 623 plate appearances last season, hitting .230 with 24 home runs and 76 RBIs. Franco ranked last out of 18 qualified third basemen in OPS and on-base percentage. He ranked 17th in slugging percentage.

It is expected the Phillies will aggressively pursue Orioles third baseman Manny Machado next offseason, assuming he becomes a free agent, if Franco does not improve dramatically in 2018.