The Phillies demoted third baseman Maikel Franco to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Philadelphia made the surprising move Sunday with Franco hitting just .231 with 15 home runs and 47 RBI in 102 games. Franco was once projected as a cornerstone player for the Phillies, appearing in more than 150 games in both 2016 and 2017. His best season came in 2016 when he hit 25 home runs and had 88 RBI.

The Phillies have a glut of outfielders and the trade deadline deal to get former All-Star Corey Dickerson left them looking to shake up the roster. Scott Kingery was starting at third base Sunday against the Chicago White Sox and he will take over for Franco. Dickerson was in left, Roman Quinn in center and Bryce Harper was in his usual spot in right field.

Sean Rodriguez will serve as the right-handed bat off the bench. Manager Gabe Kapler says Rodriguez has more versatility than Franco.

The Phillies also activated infielder Brad Miller off the injured list.

 

Contreras on IL

Chicago Cubs All-Star catcher Willson Contreras has gone on the 10-day injured list with a strained right hamstring.

Contreras was hurt Saturday against Milwaukee while running to first on a fly ball. He limped off the field and sobbed in the dugout.

He is scheduled for an MRI on Monday.

"Once we know tomorrow exactly the extent of this — good or bad — we'll try to make our determination after that," Chicago manager Joe Maddon said Sunday.

The 27-year-old Contreras is batting .275 with 19 homers and 57 RBI in 87 games this season.

Chicago recalled catcher Taylor Davis from Triple-A Iowa.

 

 

Around the bases

New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks was placed on the 10-day injured list Sunday with a flexor strain in his right elbow, the latest blow to an injury-ravaged team leading the AL East by a wide margin.…New York Mets star Robinson Cano limped off the field after straining his left hamstring while rounding first base.…Los Angeles Angels pitcher Felix Pena has a torn ACL in his right knee and has been placed on the 10-day injured list.