The Phillies are giving Cody Asche some work in the outfield

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The possibility has been discussed in the past, but Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com has confirmed that the Phillies have begun to give Cody Asche some work in left field at the team’s complex in Clearwater, Florida.

The 24-year-old Asche has exclusively played third base in the majors, but top prospect Maikel Franco is knocking on the door for an extended opportunity. Franco could be a candidate to play first base if the Phillies trade or release Ryan Howard, but testing Asche’s versatility gives them more options this season.

“He’s still our third baseman,” general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told CSNPhilly.com on Monday. “We view him as our opening day third baseman.

“But we have introduced him to some outfield. He’s doing some light drills out there, getting acclimated to outfield drills, rudimentary stuff.”

Asche owns an underwhelming .247/.307/.390 batting line in the majors, which wouldn’t exactly stand out in left field, but the Phillies are in rebuild mode and they might as well look for as many opportunities as possible to find out what their young players can do.

Trea Turner undergoes surgery on right index finger

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Nationals shortstop Trea Turner underwent surgery on his right index finger, MLB.com’s Manny Randhawa reports. Turner suffered a non-displaced fracture when he was hit by a pitch attempting to bunt in early April.

Turner missed six weeks of action and played through the injury for the remainder of the season. He was quite successful, batting .298/.353/.497 with 19 home runs, 57 RBI, 96 runs scored, and 35 stolen bases across 569 plate appearances. Turner’s performance, especially late in the regular season, helped the Nationals claim the first NL Wild Card. They, of course, would go on to win the World Series.

Turner, who is expected to be healed up by the start of spring training, will be entering his second of four years of arbitration eligibility. He will likely get a sizable raise on his $3.725 million 2019 salary.