MIAMI — After carrying the Phillies' offense for the better part of six weeks, Maikel Franco's bat has cooled recently. But that isn't the reason for the third baseman's absence from the lineup in four of the last six games.
Franco has been dealing with pain in his right wrist for about a week, manager Gabe Kapler revealed after a 3-1 loss to the Marlins on Monday. And with eight infielders available on the Phillies' expanded September roster, Franco is being given time to heal.
The injury occurred when Franco was jammed on a pitch two weekends ago in Toronto. X-rays taken Sunday were negative, but Franco said he feels discomfort when he squeezes a bat and hits a ball. He described the pain as "a six or seven" on a 1-to-10 scale.
"I was playing with it, but the last couple of days it has bothered me a lot," Franco said. "It's tough because I just try to do everything I can for my team and be in the lineup. I'm just trying to be available as soon as I can be."
Franco said it's doubtful he will be able to play Tuesday.
Since a loss in Toronto on Aug. 24, Franco is 2-for-25 with one home run. Before that, he had been on a tear, batting .323 and slugging .575 with 12 homers and a .942 OPS in 53 games.
Asdrubal Cabrera started at third base on Monday and homered in the second inning. The Phillies have several other third-base options, including Jose Bautista and utilityman Pedro Florimon. First baseman Carlos Santana also can move across the diamond and played third base in the eighth inning Monday.
"It's not about Franco in a vacuum, but I will say that there's a very good chance he would've been in the lineup [Monday]," Kapler said. "But he has a little bit of a wrist issue going on and we want to protect that."
For the first time in 75 games — and likely for the last time in the regular season — Rhys Hoskins was not in the Phillies' lineup. Hoskins came to the plate as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning and flied out to deep left field.
"We have ridden Rhys really hard. We have not given him any days off in a long time," Kapler said. "We anticipate that we may not give him another day off for the entire season, so [the Phillies were] looking for the spot to give him that one little rest."
Hoskins had started every game since June 9 when he returned from a 10-day stint on the disabled list with a fractured jaw.
In Hoskins' absence, Odubel Herrera made his first career start in left field after only playing center in his previous 569 big-league games. A few days ago, when Herrera played center field and Roman Quinn played right, Kapler said the Phillies wanted to keep Herrera where he's most comfortable. But Quinn started in center against the Marlins.
Batting in the No. 9 spot once again, second baseman Cesar Hernandez went 0 for 3 and is 23 for 122 (.189) over his last 31 games. … The Phillies reinstated righthander Jerad Eickhoff from the 60-day disabled list and designated righthander Ben Lively for assignment. Eickhoff hasn't pitched in the majors this season because of several injuries, including a nerve issue in his fingers. He's expected to be used as a long reliever. Lively began the season as the Phillies' No. 5 starter but posted a 6.85 ERA in five starts before getting sent to triple A. He's the third pitcher that the Phillies have designated for assignment in the last few weeks. Jake Thompson and Mark Leiter Jr. wound up with the Milwaukee Brewers and Toronto Blue Jays, respectively. … Jake Arrieta will start for the Phillies on Tuesday night against Marlins righthander Trevor Richards.