The Cody Asche outfield plan is underway

With Phillies third base prospect Maikel Franco tearing it up in winter ball, he appears to be on track to reach the big leagues within the next year. This might even be the year he gets the call-up and stays in the big leagues if things go well. Because of that possibility, the Phillies need to figure out what to do with Cody Asche, if Asche is to be a part of the long-term plans for the organization.

Jim Salisbury of reported today Asche is already in Clearwater, Florida to put in some work in the outfield. Asche arrived early to work with minor-league outfield instructor Andy Abad and minor-league coach Rob Ducey. This likely means nothing for the immediate future of the franchise, and Asche will remain the Phillies’ Opening Day starter at third base unless he is injured according to general manager Ruben Amaro.

Per Salisbury’s report;

“He’s still our third baseman,” general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told on Monday. “We view him as our opening day third baseman.

“But we have introduced him to some outfield. He’s doing some light drills out there, getting acclimated to outfield drills, rudimentary stuff.”

This makes perfect sense, and has long been thought to be part of the plan all along until a better solution presents itself. Franco and Asche cannot both play third base, and Asche likely gives the Phillies more flexibility to play with. So why not have Asche try his hand in the outfield. If Pat Burrell — he who does not drop an ounce of his drink while going down a slip-n-slide — could do it, why can’t Asche?

The best part of Salisbury’s story is the apparent embracing of the opportunity Asche has shown. Some players can let their egos get in the way, but Asche was approached about the idea and the plan and now he is down in Clearwater weeks before pitchers and catchers are due to arrive putting in the extra work.

If it works, great. That gives the Phillies some options to use to their advantage if and when Franco is ready to come up to Philadelphia. It also can add some depth in the outfield at the very least.

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