Last night the Philadelphia Phillies fell short to the in state rival Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3. In that game, struggling Phillies third baseman Cody Asche batted seventh in the lineup and went 2 for 4 on the night. Now hitting .245 with 2 home runs and only 4 RBI’s on the season he has been optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley where he will transition to play left field. With the move finalized, all signs point to top prospect Maikel Franco being called up to the majors to take over the duties of the everyday third baseman.
Cody Asche has been working with position coaches for some time now on his ability to play left field. There has been chatter around the fan base that would love to see if Asche can transition to play second base and perhaps be the bridge player for Chase Utley. Multiple scouting reports show that Asche’s footwork is far too slow to play the middle of the diamond and will be a better transition to left field instead.
It is quite the domino effect that has a lot of moving parts to go along with it. Ben Revere, who has been playing left field for the majority of the year, would make the trip back over to right field where he played a lot of his time with the Minnesota Twins. That frees up a platoon of Darin Ruf and Cody Asche at left field, when Ruben Amaro Jr feels it is time for Asche to make the trip back to South Philadelphia.
As the weather here in the Delaware Valley gets hotter, so does the bat of Maikel Franco. Through the first 30 games, Franco is hitting an impressive .341 BA 4 HR and 19 RBI. All reports and speculation point to Franco being called up no later than Friday May 15, just in time for a three game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Only time will tell whether or not RAJ is making the right moves and how it will play out for the rest of the season. All we know is that there is a lot of baseball to be played and the July 31st trade deadline is rapidly approaching. Asche has struggled as of late, reports of the Phillies front office says that they have all of the confidence in the world that he will make his way back up to the show. Hopefully, with Franco being called up will light a spark that this team has desperately been looking for all year.