While Phillies news, analysis, and thoughts has been dominated by the Chase Utley-shaped hole in the door, there are players who still play for the team. Some of those players are actually pretty good, and will contribute to the team's continued progress as the future takes shape.
Look at these guys! Under 30 years old! Under 25 years old! I think the bullpen catcher is a toddler glued to the TV who throws a tantrum when someone asks him to warm up. Youth is everywhere, as AXE Bodyspray replaces Old Man Smell as the clubhouse's dominating aroma.
Maikel Franco is at the moment serving at the center point of a lot of images of the future, so to see him take a Jeremy Hellickson pitch off the wrist in Arizona the other night, and then recoil in pain, was deeply upsetting in a way that friends and neighbors and people delivering your mail may not understand, despite your coarse, tearful explanations.
At first they told us things weren't that bad - he's a stout young lad with a body full of strong bones, after all! You didn't hear the gross thump of a rotting tomato slapping against the side of a house that you would have heard if that pitch had hit some of the more senior members of the lineup. But then, Franco was put on the 15-day DL, which we in the overreacting baseball can interpret as a mason slowly, coldly chiseling Franco's name onto a tombstone.
But wait! According to MLB.com, rumors of Franco's demise, started by me, just now, are useless and factually incorrect!
"The prognosis for Franco is a little bit better than what they've previously noted," he said. "So he perhaps might be able to come back a little sooner. He might be back before the season is over."
Before the end of the season?! Why, that puts Franco's return directly into a rampaging epidemic of #wildcardfever! Now whose delusional?!
[Mailman carefully places mail on stoop beneath the smattering of eviction notices on my door, shuddering at the loud, guttural sounds coming from within my home.]