Maikel Franco did not have the best season in 2017 and it seems he started 2018 with the wrong foot, as he was suspended by his Winter League team Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican Republic and know the Philadelphia Phillies have decided to put an end to his winter adventure.
According to Hector Gomez from z101 Digital, sources informed him that the Phillies asked Franco to stop playing with Gigantes del Cibao and instead prepare for Spring Training.
All this after Franco was suspended for three games by Gigantes after being caught on social media drinking in a club until 6 in the morning and the team had a game at 2 p.m. that day. The game ended up being postponed until 5:30 p.m. that day.
ATENCIÓN: Maikel Franco, Moises Sierra, Garabez Rosa y Eduardo D’Oleo son SUSPENDIDOS por @Gigantes_Cibao por falta disciplinaria (estuvieron en discoteca de SFM hasta las 6:00 AM con juego en SD a las 2:00 PM). *Foto de un bloc de SFM. #RoundRobin #LIDOM pic.twitter.com/bt5w19WZe5— Marino Pepén (@Marino_Pepen) 7 de enero de 2018
After his suspension was announced Franco went on to say he was "sorry" for his actions:
"I ask for forgiveness from the team, the fans and our partners, it's something that won't happen again.
Hours after Gigantes suspended Franco, they announced they would be foregoing the punishment and the players would be available to play, but the Phillies did not like the whole situation and asked Franco to stop playing.
Luego de conversar con el presidente de la franquicia, Samir Rizek, la suspensión queda sin efecto. Los cuatro jugadores estarán disponibles para el partido de mañana frente a Águilas.— Gigantes del Cibao ® (@Gigantes_Cibao) 7 de enero de 2018
Franco, who had a great season as a rookie in 2015 when he hit 14 dingers with a .280 batting average, struggled in 2017 slashing .230/.281/.409 with 24 homers in 154 games.
His recent struggles and problems off the field has pushed the Phillies to float Franco in the trade market but has decided to keep the infielder as one of Philadelphia's rebuilding process.