09-11-2017 07:30 PM

In the visiting clubhouse after*Sunday's*game in Washington, Matt Stairs made eye contact with a reporter and gave an implicit little nod that seemed to say, "OK. During an interview earlier in the day, the first-year Phillies hitting coach had talked extensively about one of his pupils, Maikel Franco. Stairs praised Franco's talent and work ethic, and expressed the opinion that someday it would all come together for the recently turned 25-year-old third baseman, that ultimately Franco would grow from the struggles he has endured during the 2017 season and become the consistent middle-of-the-order run producer that the Phillies have long hoped he'd be.

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