In the “you’ve-got-to-be-kidding me” excuse department, place the reasoning offered for why the Philadelphia Phillies and Michael Young haven’t parted ways yet.
Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports reported on Tuesday that league interest in Young was “intense”, but that the holdup was the Phillies not having “an internal replacement” in line for Young. The intense part is probably true, but the “internal replacement” part has to be considered bunk.
Young is batting .288 right now with six home runs and 28 RBIs in 89 games. His backup at third, Kevin Frandsen, also a right-handed batter, is hitting .297 with three home runs in just 31 games. You don’t have to be a math whiz to know those numbers project higher than Young’s over the course of a full season.
If the Phillies don’t trust Frandsen in an everyday capacity, they could go right/left and call up Triple-A All-Star Cody Asche, who is hitting .288 with 10 home runs and 58 RBIs in 94 games with the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. Asche is no joke, batting .300 last year in Double-A and .349 two years ago in Single-A.
By platooning the pair, the Phillies have the luxury of using Frandsen in the utility role he’s been so valuable at for the most of the balance of the season since he would only have to hit against left-handed pitching. It’s not a stretch of the imagination to think that the Frandsen/Asche combo would at least be as productive, maybe more, than the 36-year-old Young.
Since there appears to be a bidding war for Young’s services, Phillies fans have to wonder what the holdup is, or if it’s just GM Ruben Amaro Jr. playing coy and trying to hold up the rest of baseball to get the best deal possible.
With just a couple of weeks left before the July 31 trading deadline, they are keeping their fingers crossed and hoping Amaro makes the best use of this bidding war to get some bullpen help.