By Annie Ross
Hey there, Maikel Franco.
Save some power for the regular season!
Franco hit his eighth home run of the spring for the Phillies in their 4-4 tie with theToronto Blue Jays last night.
Franco entered the game leading all major league players with seven home runs and 18 RBIs in 17 exhibition games.
The 23-year-old, a National League Rookie of the Year candidate before breaking his left hand in August, hit 14 home runs in 80 games with the Phillies last season.
”Hurry up and get to April,” joked Phillies starter Jeremy Hellickson, whose pitch broke Franco’s hand when he was hurling for the Diamondbacks. ”I don’t think he’ll stop, but we need to hurry up and get there.”
The right-hander walked three and struck out four in his next to last start of the spring for the Phillies.
Marco Estrada gave up the Franco home run, while striking out six and walking two in 3 2/3 innings. The homer came off a 1-2 cutter.
”I need to work on my cutter a little more,” the right-hander said. ”The two home runs I’ve given up (this spring) have been on the exact same pitch. I’m trying to go down and away to a righty and I miss middle-away. It was belt high, middle-away. I have to work on that.”
A half inning after Franco’s home run broke a scoreless tie, Hellickson served up a two-run home run to Casey Kotchman.
”It wasn’t where I wanted, but it was still out of the zone,” said Hellickson, who played with Kotchman in Tampa Bay in 2011. ”He’s a good hitter, he can catch up to that. I just missed my spot.”