Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash announced that shortstop Wander Franco will not be in the lineup for tonight’s series opener against the Kansas City Royals and Friday’s game as well Cash cited Franco’s poor handling of his frustrations as reasoning for the benching, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. The Rays’ skipper emphasized that they will continue to work with the young superstar on that front.
Franco has been extremely productive in his third season in the big leagues and has played a huge part in the Rays boasting the best record in the majors at 52-25. The 22-year-old All-Star candidate is currently batting .287 with eight home runs, 34 RBI, and an OPS of .804. The combination of excellence on both offense and defense currently has netted him the third highest WAR in the MLB at 3.78. However, his struggles at the plate as of late could be the source of his frustrations as he has gone 2-20 with just two RBI over his last five games. We’ll see if he can turn things around upon his return on Saturday.