Phillies Notes: Phils call up Asche for an extended look at third

Philadelphia Phillies' Cody Asche in action during a spring training exhibition baseball game against the New York Yankees, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, in Clearwater, Fla.(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Philadelphia Phillies' Cody Asche in action during a spring training exhibition baseball game against the New York Yankees, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, in Clearwater, Fla.(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Posted: August 01, 2013

Mike Nesseth, Cody Asche's roommate in Williamsport two years ago, called the third baseman while Asche drove from Allentown to Philadelphia on the day he became a major-league player. They were together when Asche first tasted professional baseball. He hit .192 in 68 games.

"It does seem fast," Asche said.

He unpacked his things Tuesday in a locker nestled between Chase Utley's and Ryan Howard's at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies assigned him No. 25, worn for years by Jim Thome. He will start at third base Wednesday, and the final two months of 2013 figure to be his chance to forge a permanent job in 2014.

"You can establish yourself," manager Charlie Manuel said. "We can get a good read on you. The more at-bats you get, obviously, the easier it is to project a guy."

Asche, 23, is one of the organization's better position-player prospects. He was hitting .295 at triple-A Lehigh Valley with an .837 OPS. He had 15 home runs. He belted two in the IronPigs' 9-1 victory Monday. He departed with a 10-game hitting streak.

The fourth-round draft pick played third base in college. The Phillies converted him to second base during that season at single-A Williamsport. That experiment did not last. Scouts believe he has the ability to play third base in the majors.

The Phillies have high hopes for another young third baseman, Maikel Franco. The 20-year-old has destroyed double-A pitching. The franchise is not typically aggressive with its prospects, which means Asche has a better shot at securing third base for 2014 than Franco.

Asche glanced at Utley's locker and said, "I can only hope someday I can be compared to that guy." Scouts have likened Asche's demeanor to that of Utley's.

"Just being confident is who I am," Asche said. "It is always who I try to be, just a confident person that believes in myself no matter what. I think if you have confidence in yourself, you will be able to succeed at any level."

In his first at-bat in the majors, Asche pinch-hit in the seventh and popped out to second.

Brown still out

Domonic Brown (concussion) can be activated from the seven-day disabled list Wednesday, but he will not be returning any time soon. Manuel said Brown was undergoing more tests. He did not expect to have him for at least another week.

Brown was injured July 23 when his head slammed into the ground on his diving attempt to make a catch.

Lee uncertain

Manuel was not sure whether Cliff Lee could make his next scheduled start, Friday against Atlanta. Lee could not pitch in Detroit because of stiffness in his neck.

"That's still undecided," Manuel said. "He was checked out yesterday."

Extra bases

Steve Susdorf was designated for assignment to make room for Asche. Susdorf was 1 for 7; he committed a costly error in Sunday's loss. . . . Asche will be the 43d Phillies player in 2013. The team used 49 players in 2012. The team record is 54 players in 1996.

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