Update at 1:30 A.M. EST: Cody Asche says he is close to returning, but the plan is to meet with the Phillies training staff and head to Lehigh Valley. Nothing set in stone until he meets with Scott Sheridan.
Lehigh Valley can afford to play Asche in left field over Cam Perkins and Cedric Hunter. Iron Pigs host Louisville this weekend.
Original: 12:30 A.M. EST
Missing from the Philadelphia Phillies all season long has been utility player Cody Asche. The third baseman turned outfielder strained his oblique in spring training nearly three months ago and has been rehabing ever since.
Oblique injuries, also called rib cage strains, can be very tricky to recover from and tend to linger.
After getting some playing time in extended spring training and with the Phillies Single-A and Double-A clubs over the past couple of weeks, it appears Cody Asche is getting closer to his return to the majors.
Asche struggled to hit in both Single-A Clearwater and Double-A Reading. With the Clearwater Threshers he went 3-18 with a home run and six strikeouts in five games.
In four games in Reading Asche hit fairly similarly. He was 2-16 with a home run, two walks, and six strikeouts.
In his nine rehab games he hit a combined .147 with two home runs and 12 strikeouts.
On a positive note, Asche has as many home runs in his nine rehab games than the Phillies starting corner outfielders combined.
Peter Bourjos and Tyler Goeddel are hitting a combined .229 most of which is thanks to Goeddel’s recent “hot” streak.
Should Asche be on his way back up to Philadelphia, Emmanuel Burris would be the top candidate to either be simply sent to the minors or be designated for assignment. The utility player has only four hits this season and is hitting .129 since making the club out of spring training.
To put how bad Emmanuel Burris has been this season, Michael Martinez (who is somehow still above Double-A) has five hits for the Cleveland Indians in 20 at bats. Burris has four in 31.
The Phillies had an off day on Thursday as they travel to Chicago to play the Cubs. Adam Morgan (1-2) is scheduled to start for the Phillies and veteran Jon Lester (4-3) is scheduled to appear for the Cubs, who have the most wins in all of baseball.
First pitch is scheduled for 2:20 p.m. eastern time Friday.