Wander Franco Shines in First Spring Training Action of 2023

The first Monday of Spring Training action gave us a good look at one of baseball’s young starts, Wander Franco, and some news regarding several of the league’s top starts. Here’s a look at some news and notes, including updates on Seiya Suzuki and Yordan Alvarez.

Related: Players Are Dropping Out of the 2023 World Baseball Classic Left and Right

Franco’s Day at the Plate

Against the Orioles, Rays shortstop Wander Franco went 3-3 with a two-run home run and four RBIs in total on Monday. Thus marked Franco’s first action of the spring.

Franco was limited to just 314 at-bats last year, thanks to a quadriceps strain and wrist discomfort.

When healthy, it’s hard not to excited about Franco. The Rays shortstop possesses the total package: great speed, to go along with strength, bat speed, and strong bat-to-ball skills. The key, though, will be health. Injuries have been an issue in Franco’s young career thus far. Aside from the aforementioned injuries from 2022, Franco also missed time in September 2021 due to right hamstring tightness.

What Else Happened?

A couple of injury notes came out today. One, Padres outfielder Juan Soto did not play on Monday due to calf tightness. This comes just one day after Soto went 3-4 with a home run against the Diamondbacks.

Two other outfielders with injury questions are Seiya Suzuki and Yordan Alvarez. Suzuki, who is set to play for Team Japan in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, is dealing with a left oblique injury that has kept him out of Spring Training games thus far. No word has been made public regarding an expected return time for Suzuki, or his status for the WBC.

Yordan Alvarez, meanwhile, has yet to swing a bat this spring due to a sore left hand. Alvarez dealt with hand inflammation last season, but it didn’t phase him that much if the numbers are any indication. The slugger clubbed 36 home runs and hit .306/.406/.613 for the World Series champions in 2022.

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