"When you are down there for that long time you really never want to go back again and you want to be healthy," he said. "I didn't want to rush anything. You obviously want to play the time you are up there, but most importantly you want to be healthy."
The Phillies hope Asche will pick up where he left off before his injury. After a dreadful April that he finished hitting .200/.284/.300, the 24-year-old hit .317/.406/.550 with three home runs in his first 17 games in May, raising his season numbers to .258/.346/.426 and four home runs.
He will certainly be in his comfort zone. Asche starred at Fort Zumwalt West High, about 25 minutes outside of downtown St. Louis, before moving on to play collegiate ball at Nebraska.
While he wasn't a diehard Cardinals fan, he and his parents would attend a couple of games per year.
"When I was little my parents would take us down here when the Reds would come to town to watch [Ken] Griffey play because that was my brother's favorite player," he said. "I was a fan of [Mark] McGwire when they were going through the home run chase. Obviously Ozzie Smith, but that was when I was really young. When [Albert] Pujols was a rookie that was cool to watch, just the whole frenzy around him. We would come to maybe two, three games a year. I wouldn't say I was a huge Cardinals fan, just more a fan of baseball."
With Wil Nieves still hurting, the Phillies recalled catcher Cameron Rupp from Triple A Lehigh Valley.
Rupp saw time on the big-league roster last September, going 4-for-13 with a double and a walk in 14 plate appearances. A 2010 third-round draft pick out of the University of Texas, Rupp was hitting .167/.295/.370 with six home runs in 129 plate appearances at Lehigh Valley. He missed some time with a strained oblique. To make room for him, the Phillies optioned outfielder Aaron Altherr, who joined the club on Monday after Tony Gwynn Jr. went on the bereavement list.
Cliff Lee is scheduled to throw another bullpen session today as he continues to recover from a flexor tendon strain. Lee threw his first bullpen session on Monday in Atlanta, although it consisted only of 20 fastballs.
Ben Revere was not in the starting lineup for a third straight day as he continues to recover from a sore knee that he injured crashing into the outfield wall at Turner Field.
On Twitter: @ByDavidMurphy