March 10, 2016

Asche has MRI after setback from oblique injury, could open season on DL

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Cody Asche looked like he could be one of the players in camp that could benefit from the wrist injury that will sideline Aaron Altherr for the majority of the 2016 season. Instead, it’s starting to look like a possibility that Asche will also begin the regular season on the disabled list.

Asche had an MRI on Wednesday that revealed a Grade 1 right oblique (rib cage) strain. He will take a step back from his rehab work.

“No hitting,” manager Pete Mackanin said after briefing the media about the MRI. “It’s a day to day thing.”

Asche was first shut down two weeks ago, during the first few days of full-squad workouts at the Carpenter Complex. But he began doing some light hitting work within the last few days, hitting off a tee and taking progressing to hitting off soft-toss pitches, too.

But since rib cage injuries are always “tricky,” Asche said, and often take players more than a week or two to recover, it’s not surprising the Phillies are taking the cautious route and shutting Asche down for now.

The 25-year-old Asche hit .245 with 12 home runs and a .689 OPS in 129 games with the Phillies last season. He opened each of the last two seasons as the team’s Opening Day third baseman but was shifted to left field last May with the arrival of Maikel Franco.

Asche came into camp hoping to win back a starting job with Odubel Herrera, Peter Bourjos, and Altherr in line as the likely regulars. With the Phillies seemingly losing outfielders by the day this spring, Rule 5 pick Tyler Goeddel would seem to be the most likely beneficiary of more playing time in 2016.