Phillies Alec Asher Best Suited for the Bullpen Long-Term?

Sep 30, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Alec Asher (49) pitches during the first inning against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 30, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Alec Asher (49) pitches during the first inning against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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After a strong second major league season, the Phillies may have to move Alec Asher to the bullpen going forward

Alec Asher arrived in Philadelphia through the Cole Hamels trade in 2015 and was the second player to play for the Phillies. The righty struggled early in his Phillies career, allowing four earned runs in five of his seven starts in 2015.

After starting the following season in Lehigh Valley, Asher received an 80-game suspension after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

Once he returned to the majors, Asher played fairly well as a starter. His ERA was over 7.00 better pitching in nearly identical innings.

Unfortunately for Asher the Phillies have a logjam of starting pitchers and his role going forward is projected to be little to none.

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For those reasons and Ashers’ newfound success, the Phillies should start to move Asher into a long-reliever role. This seasons’ Phillies team does not currently have a legitimate long-man in the bullpen, providing the perfect opportunity for Asher.

If Asher’s success can carry over in this new role, he has a legitimate opportunity to be the “Chad Durbin” of the Phillies bullpen going forward.

His opportunities to succeed in the major leagues will be limited, so Asher must take advantage of every job that comes his way. He’ll surely fight for a job in the starting rotation in spring training, but Jeremy Hellickson, Clay Buchholz, Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vincent Velasquez look to have the starting rotation nailed down entering the new season.

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