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Franco not late to Phillies camp, but cutting it close

MLB.com @ToddZolecki

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies expect big things this season from Maikel Franco. They also expect him to be in camp Tuesday morning at Bright House Field, just in time to take a physical before the team's first full-squad workout at Carpenter Complex.

Every player is in camp other than Franco and pitcher Yoervis Medina, who has visa issues. But Franco is not late, Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies expect big things this season from Maikel Franco. They also expect him to be in camp Tuesday morning at Bright House Field, just in time to take a physical before the team's first full-squad workout at Carpenter Complex.

Every player is in camp other than Franco and pitcher Yoervis Medina, who has visa issues. But Franco is not late, Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.

"I'm not going to be critical of anybody who doesn't come early," Mackanin said. "If we wanted guys to come two weeks ago, we should have a longer Spring Training. 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. I'm not going to nitpick that. He's not that kind of guy, but if he turns lazy and he doesn't work like he always does, then I have an issue. But he's going to work hard."

Franco is within his rights not to arrive until Tuesday's workout. In fact, according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, players are not required to report to Spring Training more than 33 days before the start of the regular season. That would make the deadline March 1.

But Franco's absence Monday raised eyebrows among some in the organization, because he is a young player entering his first full season in the big leagues and because the Phillies have such high hopes for him. No player in recent memory has waited until the morning of the team's first full-squad workout to report to camp. Jimmy Rollins, Bobby Abreu and Ryan Howard were often the last players to arrive in camp, but always at least a day before the first workout.

Howard dropped off a few things Saturday at Bright House Field and took his physical Monday. He worked out with the team afterward.

"I'll be disappointed if during the season [Franco] 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."

Franco, 23, hit .280 with 14 home runs, 22 doubles, one triple, 50 RBIs and an .840 OPS in 335 plate appearances last season.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Philadelphia Phillies, Maikel Franco