Back from a stint on the DL, now would be the time for Cody Asche to prove he is the third baseman of the future for the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies have a lot of long-term decisions over the next month, but third base should not be one of them.
It’s either commit to Asche and find another position for Triple A third baseman Miakel Franco to play or move Franco up and Asche out. It’s that simple, and Asche could make it even less complicated by picking up at the plate where he left off when he went on the DL a month ago with a strained hamstring tendon.
The move could not have come at a better time for the Phillies, because current fill-in third baseman Reid Brignac suffered a sprained ankle in Thursday night’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals. Asche, a notorious warm-weather hitter during his meteoric rise through the Phillies’ minor-league system, hit .317 with three homers and 12 RBIs in May.
Another good sign was that he saw the ball well enough during his rehab stints to hit .615 (8-for-13) with two doubles and three home runs in five games split between Single A Lakewood (N.J.) and Triple A Lehigh Valley (Pa.). Now Asche rejoins the team in his hometown of St. Louis, and if he hits half as well there as the Phillies other St. Louis native, Ryan Howard, the team could take this series after sweeping the Atlanta Braves.
More importantly, though, what Asche does for the next month could earn him a long-term spot with the Phillies and give GM Ruben Amaro Jr. one less headache between now and the MLB trade deadline of July 31.