NEW YORK – There were indicators that Maikel Franco, who began Thursday hitless in his previous 21 at-bats, suffered from a bout of unluckiness. He’s hit the ball, on average, harder than he did last season. He’s struck out at a lower rate than a season ago. His batting average on balls in play was the fifth lowest among qualified hitters.
So, despite a lack of results, Franco clinged to the positives.
“That’s why I’m still confident,” he said. “That’s why I have a lot of patience. . . . If you put the ball in play and stroke the ball really good and hit it hard, you worry about stuff you can control.”
Pete Mackanin can control his lineup, and Franco remained in it Thursday, as the cleanup hitter. Franco was robbed of a hit in the first inning when Michael Conforto made a diving catch. Then, in the third, he rocketed a run-scoring double to left that snapped the 0-for-22 slump.
“He just needs to be more disciplined,” Mackanin said. “It’s as simple as that. He hasn’t struck out a lot. . . . But he’s expanding the zone too much. Until he gets that together, he’s going to struggle.”
Franco, actually, has swung at a smaller percentage of pitches outside of the strike zone this season, according to Baseball Info Solutions …
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