PHILADELPHIA -- It does not sound as if Triple-A third baseman Maikel Franco is an option to play third base while Cody Asche is on the disabled list.
"He's just not playing good enough baseball yet," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "He's not really ready to be a big leaguer yet."
Franco returned to the IronPigs lineup Monday after missing a couple of days with an upper respiratory issue. He is hitting .231 with four home runs, 19 RBIs and a .669 OPS. After a poor start, he has hit .292 with an .851 OPS in 27 games since April 23.
But within those 27 games, he hit just .125 (3-for-24) over his past seven.
Asche is on the DL with a strained left hamstring. The Phillies said they hoped Asche could return June 7, when he is eligible to be activated. Under that timeline, there are just 10 more days for Franco to get a callup.
That does not leave much of a window for Franco, rated the club's top prospect by MLB.com, to suddenly become a big leaguer in the eyes and minds of the Phillies' front office.
Meanwhile, Cesar Hernandez continues to play third base in Asche's absence. He entered Tuesday hitting .129 (4-for-31).
"There's no reason to bring Franco unless he's ready to be a big leaguer as far as I'm concerned," Amaro said. "If he puts together a few days. Offensively, he's made some adjustments, he's made some improvements better than in the earlier part of the season, but he's not really going on all cylinders now. We're still contemplating it. We'll see how it goes."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Erik Bacharach is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.