The Tampa Bay Rays have announced the call up of infielder Nick Franklin, who has been languishing in Triple-A since joining the Rays' organization at the trade deadline. Franklin, of course, was acquired by Tampa as part of July's three-team mega-trade that sent David Price to Detroit, Austin Jackson to Seattle, and Franklin and Drew Smyly to the Rays.
The 23-year-old Franklin has performed poorly in 113 plate appearances since joining Triple-A Durham, where he has hit just .210/.288/.290. In 52 major league plate appearances with the Mariners this season, Franklin was wildly unimpressive, collecting just six hits and posting a OPS+ of 5. In a 102 game sample last season, he was much better, delivering a 95 OPS+ and 1.9 WAR.
A former highly regarded prospect, Franklin has shown the ability to play multiple position, though his best fit is at second base. Franklin's middle infield prowess is the likely reason for his departure from Seattle, where he was blocked by Robinson Cano and Brad Miller, with Chris Taylor following closely behind.
While Franklin is also blocked in Tampa, second baseman Ben Zobrist is eligible for free agency and shortstop Yunel Escobar is eligible following the 2016 season. Next season, Franklin should see a considerable amount of playing time, likely serving as a super-utility man of sorts a la Zobrist.