2 August, 2013. Citizen's Bank Park, section 430.
Blogqueen Liz and I attempted to get a good chant going in the bottom of the sixth, during Cody Asche's third at-bat.
Then this asshole sitting one section over started mocking us. See, he'd been trying to get a wave going an inning or so earlier. And, really, the wave is dumb. I mean, there's an argument to be made in it's favor, but it's just dumb. So go away.
"Oh, now you cheer. Losers."
Then Asche grounded to second, scoring Darin Ruf. 4-6 Atlanta.
Ok, so maybe this memory isn't as perfect as it should be. Maybe Asche should have hit a five-run homerun to win the Winter Olympics, but sometimes, you gotta make do with what you got.
And this is what I got.
Asche, called up three days earlier, was at that point 1 for 11, with a rather sad .182 OPS, and no RBIs. That was his first career RBI, and Liz and I had some immeasurably small role in making it happen.
So fuck you, Section 431 Wave Guy.
Anyway. Asche didn't set the world on fire in 2013, finishing with a .231/.302/.389/.691 slash line, five homeruns, a single stolen base and 15 walks to 43 strikeouts, all in 179 PAs over 50 games. Not groundbreaking, especially compared to "defensive wizard" Michael Young's .731 OPS.
But Asche meant something else. He was the young guy (he won't turn 24 until next June), he was the future to Young's past. And he could move more than six inches to either side and still catch the ball. No pasta diving for this kid.
In any case, this isn't a recap, it's preview.
Cody Asche at Baseball-Reference.
Cody Asche at Fangraphs.
Steamer projects Asche to assemble a .263/.313/.415/.728 line next year, worth 1.3 fWAR.
Oliver projects a .255/.312/.437/.739 line, and 2.6 fWAR.
Take those with a grain of salt, but either way, Asche is a real Major League player. He won't give you too much Ole' Bullshit. Asche is solid defensively, and, even if he produces 0 WAR, he's better than Young's -1. Plus, he'll cost less then a tenth of Young's $6,000,000. At WORST, Asche represents addition by subtraction. At worst.
But he isn't gonna be a 0 WAR player. Probably no more than 2, but he'll be above replacement.
There's been some doom and gloom surrounding the Phillies of late. Some fire and brimstone, some salt and vinegar. Some of Trev's patented mayo and pepper Wawa hoagies. Yum. But that's not Cody Asche. He represents the bright side of the Phillies, and, while there's not a whole lot to look forward to in 2014, he is definitely someone worth getting excited about.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna watch the Canadian women's curling team beat Sweden because THAT sport is less depressing.