6/11/2014 7:52 P.M. ET
Asche close to beginning Class A rehab stint
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
PHILADELPHIA -- Cody Asche is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Friday with Class A Lakewood.
Ryne Sandberg said Asche may need six to seven rehab games before he could rejoin the team.
The Phillies would like Asche back at third base as soon as possible. Cesar Hernandez and Reid Brignac have been manning the position since Asche landed on the disabled list May 23 with a strained left hamstring. They entered Wednesday hitting a combined .188 (12-for-64) with two doubles, two RBIs, six walks and 22 strikeouts at third base since then.
Asche had hit .317 (19-for-60) with five doubles, three home runs, 12 RBIs, nine walks, 11 strikeouts and a .956 OPS in May before the injury.
"He was at the bottom of the order and doing some good things," Sandberg said. "I'd say that we've missed that. In the meantime, it's a chance for some other guys to play. For Cesar, it's a position that could be necessary for him to be a utility guy on that side of the field, so he has some experience there. Brignac is more of a veteran guy. So, that's been the options."
Maikel Franco, rated the organization's top prospect by MLB.com, is hitting .162 (12-for-74) since May 23 at Triple-A, which would seem to rule him out.
Lee feels OK after first throws since May 18
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee said he felt fine after some light throwing Tuesday at Citizens Bank Park.
Lee has been on the disabled list since May 19 with a strained left elbow. It was the first time he had thrown since May 18, when he threw 6 2/3 innings against the Reds. Lee said his elbow, though improving, was not yet 100 percent.
"He'll do that every other day for a couple of days and then back to back after that twice," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said of the 30 to 35 throws Lee made Tuesday. "And then keep progressing from there. … He just said he's gradually gotten better, and it got to the point where, pretty much no sensation in there. So that was the indication to start throwing yesterday."
There is no timetable for Lee's return, although he has already missed considerable time and will need to rebuild arm strength. That will take weeks, not days.
As Phils prep power arm, Diekman hits 100
PHILADELPHIA -- Ken Giles joined the Phillies on Sunday, but Ryne Sandberg had yet to find him a spot to pitch.
Fans have been waiting to see Giles' 100-mph fastball light up the scoreboard. But as they waited, Phillies left-hander Jake Diekman hit the mark with a pitch in Tuesday's 5-2 victory over the Padres at Citizens Bank Park.
Diekman hit 100 mph on an 0-2 fastball to Everth Cabrera in the eighth inning. According to Pitch f/x data, the pitch actually clocked at 99.9 mph, but what is 0.1 mph at that speed? Giles frequently hits 100 mph, which gives the Phillies a hard-throwing right-hander and a hard-throwing left-hander in the bullpen.
"He hits it all the time," said Diekman, who hit 99.2 mph with a pitch last season. "If I never hit it again, that's perfectly fine. He sits at 100. That's crazy. It's sexy, yeah -- 'You hit 100' -- but it's more about people getting out."
That mindset is why Sandberg does not expect Diekman to hit 100 mph with every pitch.
"He had a number of days of rest; he was at full strength and strong, anxious to get in there," Sandberg said. "All of that combined. He was still in the same motion, fluid, it was nice and easy. But he's typically from 96-98. The jump up was maybe from the rest that he got. But he was still nice and fluid, nice and easy."
Phils prospects Crawford, Knigge strong in May
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies on Wednesday named Class A Lakewood shortstop J.P. Crawford and Triple-A right-hander Tyler Knigge the organization's player and pitcher of the month, respectively.
Crawford, the team's first-round Draft pick last year -- and No. 3 prospect according to MLB.com. -- hit .367 with one home run, 10 RBIs and a .969 OPS in May. He hit safely in 20 of 24 games and had multiple hits in nine of those games.
Knigge went 3-0 with a 0.00 ERA and three saves in 11 games with Double-A Reading. He struck out 13 and walked four in 21 innings. He was promoted to Lehigh Valley on June 1.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.