Nick Franklin to Double-A
The minor league season ends today, and moves are still going down as Nick Franklin was called up to join the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx in their playoff run. This comes on the heels of Franklin setting the Clinton franchise home run record with twenty-three, breaking Dick Kenworthy’s old record, which was set in 1961.
A number of thoughts might come up in response to this. One would be to think of the earlier “Franklin to the 40-man” rumor of a few weeks back had legs, and that this is a sign of things to come. Another would be to claim that the Mariners don’t think all that much of the High Desert team and make all sorts of inferences based off that.
Neither of these conclusions would be good ones, because Franklin is also in double-A because Triunfel is on the disabled list at the moment with a sprained finger on his throwing hand. Make no mistake: Franklin is well-regarded within the system, and they’re going to give him as much as he can handle. The double-A move may be a test run on keeping him there for the 2011 season, but any other notions of when he’s going to be on the Mariners 40-man or stick with the team are just speculation at this point. He’s a talented, confident kid, who still has a number of kinks to work out before he gets here, and much to prove in the high minors.
The other part circles back to the original point: Franklin is in double-A because they happen to need someone who can play short. Neither Lawson nor Seager would be an ideal fit, and moving either would open up another hole you’d have to patch up anyway. A few out there have undoubtedly thought of spinning this as “no prospect that the org really likes would spend a lot of time in High Desert”, but the fact remains that Chavez, Seager, and Poythress have all spent the entire season there, and all are highly thought of within the organization.
Placing Franklin in the midst of the Southern League playoffs is a challenge, certainly, but it’s also something that West Tenn needed in order to keep going. Trying to read too much into it is just going to lead to headaches for all of us. Just kick back, and enjoy the ride of the farm system having eight of their nine affiliates in the playoffs.