Andres Blanco had his finger crushed by an opposing cleat the other day, sending our unsung hero to the disabled list and stirring up rumors that this was the perfect moment to promote top prospect J.P. Crawford. He plays the infield! Blanco played the infield! What else do we even need to think about? Nothing, ever!
So, when the bus pulled up and Taylor Featherston stepped off, did a crowd full of people with J.P. Crawford signs suddenly grow silent? Well, no, because thanks to social media, we know about all these moves well in advance, but there was probably an equivalent of such a moment occurring in everyone’s separate homes as we digested the news.
No, it makes sense. Right, Matt?
You don't call up Crawford because someone got hurt, you call him up because he is ready, Featherston up makes more sense— Matt Winkelman (@Matt_Winkelman) July 24, 2016
Anyway, one young guy who is on the move is Aaron Altherr, who had a rehab assignment shifted to Lehigh Valley on Monday. Todd Zolecki pointed out that the Phillies already have three outfielders, though.
But where will Altherr play? Odubel Herrera is locked into center field. Cody Asche has been getting the bulk of playing time in left field lately, while Peter Bourjos has been playing in right field.
Yes, as far as outfielders go, there certainly are enough of them to fill the required quota. But as far as numbers go, both Asche and Bourjos, who for a few weeks were the offensive leaders of this team, are now ghosts. Bourjos is hitting .186 over the last two weeks and Asche is 1-for-15 since tackling the Pirate Parrot (and 8-for-63 in July).
On Asche missing hittable pitches, Pete Mackanin said, “He's not hitting them.”
They must be feeling the heat from the 25-year-old Altherr, a player the Phillies were anxious to get a look at this year before he tore a tendon in his left wrist in spring training. He’s currently hitting .353 with a .511 OBP in 34 AB from the Gulf Coast to Clearwater to Reading. We’ll see how he fares in AAA as the IronPigs play a double-header against Syracuse today.