Phillies lose Cody Asche to left hamstring strain, could call up third base prospect Maikel Franco

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The Phillies announced an unfortunate roster move this afternoon …

Asche is batting .258/.346/.425 with four home runs and 18 RBI in 40 total games this season. Philly will use a platoon of Cesar Hernandez and Reid Brignac at third base in his absence initially, but top third base prospect Maikel Franco, who has caught fire at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, may become an option soon.

Franco, a 21-year-old Dominican, had 31 homers and 103 RBI last season in 134 minor league games.

Indians to activate José Ramírez tomorrow

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Indians slugger José Ramírez broke the hamate bone on his right hand last month and had surgery on August 26 to repair it. At the time he was given the same schedule most hamate bone surgery recipients get: 5-7 weeks if all goes well. Apparently all has gone better-than-well for Ramírez, however, because the Indians are going to activate him tomorrow.

That’s good news for the Indians, who are in a dead heat with the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL’s second Wild Card with six games to go.

Ramírez, like his team, started the season slowly, but he had turned things on in July and August to help fuel Cleveland’s surge into playoff contention. He hit .320/.340/.680 with nine homers and 25 driven in in July and was hitting .321/.372/.705 with six homers and 20 driven in August when he went down. Basically, he had been a better version of the Ramírez who won the Silver Slugger Award and came in third in the MVP balloting in 2018, at least for those two months.

It’ll be interesting to see how rusty he is or if the surgery has sapped his power or bat speed. We’ll only have six games in which to see it, though.