ST. LOUIS -- The Phillies made a minor trade Friday when they shipped Triple-A infielder Taylor Featherston to Tampa Bay for cash considerations.The move caught the attention of a few Phillies fans because Featherston played quite a bit at third base. But it does not mean the Phillies are clearing
ST. LOUIS -- The Phillies made a minor trade Friday when they shipped Triple-A infielder Taylor Featherston to Tampa Bay for cash considerations.
The move caught the attention of a few Phillies fans because Featherston played quite a bit at third base. But it does not mean the Phillies are clearing room for Maikel Franco to be optioned or Double-A second baseman Scott Kingery to be promoted.
It is not uncommon for organizations to move players like Featherston, if another team comes calling for a big league opportunity. The Rays immediately placed Featherston on their 25-man roster.
Franco entered Friday night's series opener against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium hitting .216 with seven doubles, seven home runs, 30 RBIs and a .622 OPS in 223 plate appearances. Interestingly, he is striking out less, walking more and swinging at fewer pitches outside the strike zone than last season. And while he is not hitting the ball quite as hard -- his average exit velocity is 88.8 mph this season compared to 89.6 mph last season, according to Statcast™ -- he has crushed the ball the past two games (96 mph).
It is likely Franco will continue to get an opportunity to play in the big leagues.
The Eastern League just named Kingery their Player of the Month. He is hitting .309 with 12 doubles, four triples, 17 home runs, 33 RBIs and a 1.017 OPS in 251 plate appearances. It is likely Kingery continues to gain more developmental time in Reading.
Hector Gomez figures to get the bulk of playing time at third base with the IronPigs, now that Featherston is with the Rays.
Benoit is close
Right-hander Joaquin Benoit is expected to be activated from the 10-day disabled list Sunday. He strained his left knee walking down the steps last weekend at Citizens Bank Park.
Quinn on the DL
Triple-A outfielder Roman Quinn has been placed on the DL with a UCL injury in his left elbow. He will receive a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews. It is unclear how much time Quinn will miss.
Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.