The Phillies minor league player development brass was well represented in Section 111 behind home plate last night at Bright House. They have to have seen what I have seen this season that Cody Asche is ready to be moved up to AA as soon as possible. The Phillies have no major league third base prospect at either AA or AAA. The solution seems so simple and Cody has played so well at third this season for the Clearwater Threshers that it seems like an easy decision to move Cody up to AA, ASAP.
Cody went three for five with a double last night against the Tampa Yankees and on the mound Jesse Biddle continued his remarkable month of May for the Threshers with seven strong innings striking out nine, four were swinging strikes off his curve ball. Though Jesse did not get a decision in the 4-3 extra inning loss he will finish the month of May with a 2-0 record in five starts with a 1.38 ERA.
The real story though is why is Cody Asche still at high A ball in the Florida State league when the Phillies need a young third baseman for the future to take over at the major league level in the near future? He has been so consistent hitting currently .356, good for second in hitting in the Florida State League. With two games left in the month he stands a good chance of hitting over .370 for May. Most importantly though he hits lefthanded and is hitting slightly higher against lefthanded pitching which is so predominate in the Florida State League this season.
Tonight he made a remarkable back handed stop on a hard hit ball to his right and made a strong one bounce throw to first but first baseman Jim Murphy could not come up with the scoop. The ball bounced off of Murphy’s glove which allowed, what turned out to be, the winning run to score. Though they gave Asche a throwing error, he showed a quick glove and a strong accurate arm on a very difficult play.
When I go to a minor league game, I tend to focus on players may some day play at the major league level. Usually only a couple major league prospects play on each team. Clearly, Cody Asche is one of them for the Threshers. He will very soon be ready to play in the major leagues at a position of pending need for the Phillies. He has nothing left to prove at the high A level. Keeping him at Clearwater is wasting his development time Especially since the contract of current Phillies third baseman, 36 year old Placido Polanco is up at the end of the season and the Phillies will need a third baseman for the 2013 season.
Though Asche is only 7 1/2 months younger than Freddy Galvis, he has less than 1,000 combined at bats in three years at Nebraska plus his partial season last year at Williamsport and so far this year with Clearwater. Freddy had nearly 2,000 minor league at bats starting at Williamsport in 2007. The Phillies said they wanted him to have even more at bats at AAA this season before he was to be ready to play at the major league level. Only Chase Utley’s knees gave Freddy a chance this season in the major leagues. It is highly unlikely they will give Asche a shot at the Phillies third base position next year but he needs to be better challenged at the plate than he currently is being challenge in the Florida State. League. Let’s hope he is soon on his way to the hot corner in Reading to face AA pitching.