Phils' Franco close to playing winter ball

Third baseman could begin stint in Dominican Winter League this week

Phils' Franco close to playing winter ball

PHILADELPHIA -- So where has Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco been lately?

Franco played the final three games of the 2015 regular season following a nearly two-month stint on the disabled list with a broken left wrist. He is scheduled to begin playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic with Gigantes del Ciabo as early as this week.

"He took some time off, but he's supposed to be out there any day," Phils player development director Joe Jordan said Tuesday afternoon.

Franco, 23, hit .280 with 22 doubles, one triple, 14 home runs, 50 RBIs and an .840 OPS in 335 plate appearances this season. He is a lock to be Philadelphia's 2016 Opening Day third baseman, provided he is healthy.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.