Satisfied with Cody Asche’s transition from third baseman to left fielder the Phillies have recalled him from Triple-A.
Asche spent about three weeks in the minors, hitting .295 with one homer and a .752 OPS in 15 games while learning a new position. In his absence prospect Maikel Franco took over as the Phillies’ starting third baseman and he’ll remain there while Asche moves to the outfield.
Asche’s return likely means less playing time for Ben Revere, who had been starting in left field every day after ceding center field to Rule 5 pick Odubel Herrera. Revere could also play right field, where Grady Sizemore has been very unproductive, but several reports recently have said the Phillies are shopping Revere anyway.
As for Asche, the offensive bar is even higher in left field than it was at third base and so far he’s hit just .247 with 17 homers and a .686 OPS in 201 games for the Phillies. Moving to a new position was important because it opened up a spot for Franco, but Asche also needs to start hitting to remain in the team’s long-term plans.
Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen looked very rough in the early going this season, noticeably limping around on a knee injury that bothered him since spring training and hitting just .194 through the end of April.
However, the former MVP has looked like his usual self (and then some) in May, hitting .330 with five homers, nine doubles, and a .988 OPS in 25 games. He’s even stolen three bases without being caught after going 0-for-1 on steals in April.
It might take another few weeks for McCutchen’s overall numbers to get back to their usual lofty marks, but even after hitting below .200 in April he’s tied for 15th among National League position players in Wins Above Replacement.
You can breathe now, Pirates fans. He’s back.
Coco Crisp is expected to avoid surgery for the neck injury that sent him to the disabled list, which is good news considering going under the knife might be career-ending for the 35-year-old A’s outfielder.
However, according to John Hickey of the San Jose Mercury News he’s likely to be out “until after the All-Star break” and once he does return staying in the lineup will require “workarounds” to avoid career-threatening surgery.
Crisp is making $11 million this season and is owed $11 million next year. He went 2-for-45 (.044) before the injury and batted just .246 with a .699 OPS in 126 games last season. Rookie speedster Billy Burns has replaced Crisp in Oakland’s lineup, starting in center field while Sam Fuld shifts to left field.