Third base giveth, and third base taketh away.
Cody Asche, the Phillies' starting third baseman, has been activated from the disabled list. He landed there back on May 23 with a strained left hamstring. It's been a long month without him. Asche had finally started to heat up last month, hitting .317/.406/.550 over 17 games. For a moment, third base didn't resemble a talent-sucking, despair spewing black hole. Then, of course, Asche got hurt. But this trip to the DL hasn't seemed to slow him down. He started his rehab assignment a week ago, and in five games between Lakewood and Lehigh Valley, he went 8-for-13 with five walks. He also hit two doubles and three home runs (including this one) and struck out twice. With a triple slash of .615/.722/1.462, I think he's ready to come back.
But not all third base news is good news. Reid Brignac, the Phillies' walk-off savior and scruffy good luck charm, was officially (but sadly) placed on the DL today. He injured himself last night racing Shelby Miller to first base on this play. While running top speed down the line he realized he was going to be about a step or so short, so he took a giant sliding leap into the first base bag and sprained his left ankle. It's a minor miracle that Brignac didn't break that ankle into a million little pieces, and for a minute it looked like he might have. After sliding into the bag, he rolled over it and stayed down on the ground clutching his ankle in pain. Thankfully it wasn't as bad as it appeared. Shelby Miller walked away from the play with just a few scrapes.
Of course Brignac, AKA Kevin Frandsen 2.0, would have been giving the vast majority of his at-bats back to their original owner, Cody Asche. If you asked me to choose between Asche and Brignac, I'm going to go with Asche 100% of the time, plus a few extra times when you're not even asking me to choose between them. ("Vanilla or chocolate?" "Cody Asche!") But it would have been nice to have Brignac around as an option off the bench and for late inning heroics.