At this point in the season, the Phillies are slated and projected to win approximately 52 games, which means my 100 losses for 2015 is highly likely. With that being said, there is an overall, positive aspect to what we’re witnessing. This week, 3B/OF Code Asche was demoted to Lehigh Valley Triple-A and it has been reported that 3B Maikel Franco will be moved up and joining the Phillies any day now. An improvement? We’ll have to wait it out, but these moves should be seen by fans as a positive step.
I’ve had high hopes and been defending Asche for quite some time now. The potential within him, I believe, is still there to be a contributor in the future. But the fact of the matter remains – he’s really not the future like I had hoped. With a hot batting start at the onset of the season, his number have been in a steep decline. His defense has been marginal at best. It’s understandable why he was demoted as the organization is trying him out at left field instead of the continuation of developing him as a third baseman. It’s sad to say – he just isn’t the answer at that position. When you look at Asche’s number before being moved to Lehigh Valley, h had just three hits in his last 29 at-bats with the Phillies.
In a recent Philadelphia Inquirer article, Asche said, “I didn’t see it happening here, to be honest. You have to trust that they know what’s best for me. That’s really all I’m doing is trusting in them.” As fans, we need to do the same as difficult and unruly our brains become at that very notion. It’s all we can do.
Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock recently said, which was reported on The Good Phight blog, Asche has the raw athletic talent to make the transition from third base to left field smoothly. But he added, time will tell. It’s a matter of testing the waters. Overall, in my mind, it’s attempting to make some kind of progress with the talent they have. Inevitably, throw it on the wall and see if it sticks. The same can be said for bringing up Franco. He’s just 22-years-old and almost every Phillies fan is chomping at the bit to see what he can do playing third base at Citizens Bank Park and beyond. The fans wishes will be coming true before we know it.
Franco has batted .346 in Lehigh Valley and has 11 RBIs in the past week. Frankly, he provides some raw hitting from a righty, which we really haven’t seen on a consistent basis since the Hunter Pence days. Plus, he’s played well from a defensive perspective. The development of Franco has been a slow work in progress over the last few years. Now is as good a time as any to see how much momentum he can give the Phils when expectations are dreadfully low. However, it’s a positive in my eyes.
The movement that we’re seeing from the Phillies – and yes, via Amaro – are encouraging steps being taken. These developments and changes are meant to shake up the status quo and find a way to build and inevitably win. If a .346 batting average that’s being carried by Franco can help light a spark under this Phillies team and generate more runs on a consistent basis, I say, take the venture and see what Franco and Asche can do in their new capacities. Change, usually, is a good thing.