Report: Phillies Considering Cody Asche In Outfield

Mitchell Leff

The move wouldn't happen until next year, when it is expected Maikel Franco will be ready to roll.

Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal had an interesting nugget in his MLB news and notes piece about the Phillies' future plans with third baseman Cody Asche. In it, he suggested there are discussions inside the organization about a position move for Asche.

The Phillies are talking internally about moving Cody Asche from third base to the outfield next season -- a move that would clear third for top prospect Maikel Franco, who currently is at Triple A.

Asche, a left-handed batting .259 with four homers and a .789 OPS, has impressed the Phillies offensively, and the team’s outfielders rank a combined 26th in the majors in OPS.

In the optimistic view, Asche could develop into the Phils’ version of Alex Gordon, whom the Royals moved from third base to the outfield full-time after his fourth season.

Moving Asche to the outfield would make sense, seeing as how his defensive skills at third are lacking. Asche has made six errors already this year, and advanced defensive metrics paint him as an unholy hybrid of Frankenstein's monster and Ty Wigginton. With good reports on his defense at Lehigh Valley and a recent hot streak in which he's added walks to the power/average profile he showed last year, Franco looks like the better long-term bet at third base on both sides of the ball.

The question is whether Asche's bat merits a corner outfield slot. As Rosenthal points out, he'd be a major improvement over what the Phils have rolled out in the pasture through 41 games this season--but a lot of that reflects the early struggles of Domonic Brown, whose all-star campaign last year likely (and appropriately) guarantees more time to straighten himself out. If Brown still looks broken in 2015, maybe Asche replaces him in left; another possibility would be Marlon Byrd moving on, with either Brown or Asche taking over in right. (We're guessing he's not a viable option to replace Ben Revere.)

The unfortunate aspect here is that the Phillies have few other viable outfield prospects in the high minors. At double-A Reading, former 2008 first-round picks Anthony Hewitt and Zach Collier are batting .345... combined, with Collier at .207, and Hewitt at .138. Aaron Altherr, the one possible center fielder in the bunch, is struggling almost as much with a .210/.266/.320 line. Kelly Dugan started the season well before getting injured, but most prospect mavens see him as a fourth outfielder. If Asche could move to an outfield corner and provide even league-average production for the minimum, it would mean one less large hole to fill as the Phillies transition from their current aging lineup core.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join The Good Phight

You must be a member of The Good Phight to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Good Phight. You should read them.

Join The Good Phight

You must be a member of The Good Phight to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Good Phight. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker