First of Many Changes: Asche Moves to Left Field

Cody AscheThe Phillies are building for the future and they made their first significant in-season change last night when they optioned Cody Asche to Triple-A.

They want Asche to become a left fielder.

The organization believes Maikel Franco is its third baseman of the future. He is coming as early as Friday. He is hitting well in Triple-A. He plays an impressive third base. If he can play like that in the big leagues then he is the right choice. But the Phillies still like Asche and they see their outfield is lacking. (Phillies outfielders have a .623 OPS this season, which is 29th in baseball.) They think Asche’s offense could improve if he moves to a less stressful spot on the field like left.

“That’s a possibility,” Ryne Sandberg said. “I’ve seen that before and I think he has the ability to play a solid left field with the things he’s already done, with his foot speed and knowledge of the game and what I’ve seen in practice. He also has a good arm.”

Asche took the news hard. I’m sure he did not expect to return to the Minor Leagues to learn a new position. (One hopes they told him this was coming a couple weeks ago, but based on his reaction I think they did not.) But his ego also probably took a hit because the Phillies essentially told him, “We don’t think you’re good enough at third base.” That hurt is understandable. But like I wrote in the story above, there are numerous players that have made the transition from infielder to outfielder.

Craig Biggio, Robin Yount, Albert Pujols, Ryan Braun and Alex Gordon are just a few.

Nobody looks at those players as having failed anything. If Asche takes to left field and his offense improves and he establishes himself as a quality left fielder, nobody will look at him as a failed third baseman. They will look at him as a significant piece of the rebuilding process.

So what’s next for the Phillies? Cole Hamels, Jonathan Papelbon, Aaron Harang, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz remain on the trading block. Aaron Nola? He’ll continue to pitch in Double-A, but he could be in the big leagues before the end of the season. Ben Revere is expected to move to right field, although I don’t think the Phillies look at him as the long-term answer there. Revere could share time in right with Jeff Francoeur and Domonic Brown, once he rejoins the Phillies. Or the Phillies could trade Revere or Brown.

“We’ve been in dialogue about a lot of things,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “That really hasn’t stopped since the offseason. We still continue to kind of assess opportunities that we might have. The focus remains the same: we try to put ourselves in a position to improve the club and give young players an opportunity to come up here and see what they can do.”

19 Comments

Stating the obvious dep’t: If the Phillies could possibly eliminate Howard and Utley, they could get this rebuilding in high gear. They’ve been great contributors, but they’re blocking youngsters who need playing time.

If Utley is traded, Asche could play 2nd base. Dom Brown still scuffling during his AAA assignment?

Asche cannot play second base. They’ve tried. It did not work. It’s not on the table.

THEY didn’t try it – that’s what he was before they changed him over. Don’t take them at their word, dig it up. He was a 2B guy before the Phillies screwed him up. They are doing to Asche what they have done to Ruf – because they are a totally clueless bag of airheads.

Hey Zo, be straight with us – isn’t it more true that Asche is not being given the shot to learn how to play 2B because of the organization’s commitment to Utley?

Because one could argue that the switch from 3B to 2B would be easier than 3B to LF. And as others have argued intelligently, Asche is no Pat Burrell, and does not project to be an improvement over our current OF options.

In 2013 RA said Utley is “a true Phillie for life” when he signed his extension. And if Utley reaches 500 plate appearances in 2015, he guarantees himself a $15 million salary in 2016.

So it seems, regardless of Utley’s performance, they are committed to giving Utley the chance to vest.

Sorry for the link but KR’s article on FS explains the situation very clearly: http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/story/chase-utley-philadelphia-phillies-two-year-contract-extension-vesting-options-080813

“Cody Asche (pronounced ASH-ee) was an outstanding high school baseball player, earning awards and statewide recognition playing second base at Fort Zumwalt West High School in O’Fallon, Mo.” – http://m.phillies.mlb.com/news/article/60771110/

But no, he can’t play 2nd base for the Phillies, because they are SO good! And don’t listen to this front office when they tell you what a player can and cannot do – they are much better at screwing up players than improving them.

Darin Ruf stinks. People need to get over it. Remember Matt Rizzotti? How did he turn out?

“Asche, the 151st overall choice, hit .425 in his career at Zumwalt West, including .512 in his senior season as a second baseman.” http://patch.com/missouri/ofallon/phillies-choose-ofallon-native-fort-zumwalt-west-gradddf9f2aab3
There is a Reason Reuben was ranked Worst of all GM’s last year – strictly on merit. I am quite sure he never even knew Asche grew up at 2B.

Thanks. I always think of 3rd base as a tougher defensive position (even in not requiring the same range as the middle infield). The Phillies must be really convinced that Franco is the real deal.

This is Idiotic, and has ruin tomorrow’s name all over it. He is completely unable to see what is going on in front of his nose, and has no idae what to look for during a baseball game. Larry Anderson is more astute at observing baseball, andd he is a clown. How much longer are we going to subjected to this Moron’s mistakes?

In this case, you have Ben Revere, who has FINALLY found a playing position – left field – where he gets a good jump on almost every ball, and has finally demonstrated a surprisingly adequate arm. And you also have a second baseman – Utley – who has absolutely the worst range of any second baseman in the majors, but can’t make way for a kid – Asche – who hits just like him, moves FAR better than him, and throws much better than him. What, turning a double play is Rocket Science? Ruben forgets that Chase couldn’t turn a DP to save his life his first year in the league. And you hve Ruf, adequate in left and above-average at first, with one of two power bates on the team. Bu NOOOOOOO…. The Rube-Brain sees fit to put Revere somewhere he can’t play, leave a statue at second, put a singles hitter in left instead of a power bat, and what – sit Herrera? What a complete pinhead.

How much longer do we havver to suffer this Fool???

Well- they don’t see asche as a second baseman ..had him there before and it didn’t go well.. I personally don’t think Revere is even in their future plans and hasn’t show even an adequate arm. If I’m not mistaken he played majority of his time with twins as a right fielder anyway.

No, I am not advocating for Revere in any way, in any position. But Asche at 2nd base where he grew up – see my above reply to Zolecki – is a WAY better bet than sticking him in the outfield, where he has Never Played a Game in his Life. Just because Reuben couldn’t play infield like his old man and had to switch to outfield, doesn’t mean everyone else should do it too.

Just because Asche looks like Utley doesn’t mean he can play like Utley. Asche is a bad defender. He can’t play 2nd.

He can not play second. And they did give him a try at second early in minor league career. He stunk at it. Just because he played 2nd in high school doesn’t translate to being able to play 2nd in the majors.

All playing 2nd in high school says is that he wasn’t a good enough athlete to play short.

If Dom Brown starts to hit at Lehigh Valley,then Revere or Asche have to go. They are only suited to play leftfield. Last time I checked you can only play 3 outfielders at the same time.

I know this is a building year but why is Amaro the guy doing the rebuilding!!! He has completely ruined this team, cannot judge talent and doesn’t seem to have a plan. Any other GM who take allowed a tean to get worst each year since 2008 until rock bottom was reached last year (cause we’re rebuilding this year) would have been looking for another job a long time ago

You are soooooo right – why Amaro STILL has a GM position is ludicrous ! It is hard to believe he is not EMBARASSED when he meets with other GMs’ . The owners’ must not have a clue about baseball if they think Amaro should continue as GM – PLEASE AMARO – RESIGN !

Please get Utley a copy of this journal article – which could help Howard, too. Neither of them can apparently pick up the spin on a slider any more, and these guys at UC Riverside got improved results on actual baseball players in those exact areas.
http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822(14)00005-0

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