The Phillies announced that they’ve claimed lefty David Rollins off waivers from the Rangers and designated infielder/outfielder Cody Asche for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. Asche, formerly one of the Phillies’ top prospects, has struggled in parts of four seasons and was a non-tender candidate prior to tonight’s 8pm ET deadline.
Philadelphia was hopeful at one point that Asche, now 26, could develop into a regular option at the hot corner, but his bat has never come around at the Major League level, and Maikel Franco’s arrival pushed him out to left field. The left-handed hitter owns a career .240/.298/.385 batting line with 31 homers in 1287 Major League plate appearances — a far cry from the .297/.359/.491 slash he’s compiled in 150 games across parts of four seasons at Triple-A.
Prior to the 2013 season, Baseball America rated Asche seventh among Phillies farmhands and noted that while he doesn’t have the prototypical power or high-level defense one would expect out of a regular third baseman, he had the potential to hit enough to land a role as a Major League regular. To this point in his career, that hasn’t panned out.
Rollins, 27 next month, has gone from the Mariners to the Cubs to the Rangers to the Phillies on waivers in a matter of two months. The former 24th-round pick has a 7.60 ERA in 34 innings with the Mariners across the past two seasons and has averaged 7.1 K/9 against 3.9 BB/9 with a 41.9 percent ground-ball rate. He’s been rather unlucky, as evidenced by a .379 BABIP, but even the most optimistic ERA estimator pegs him in the mid-4.00s (4.41 SIERA). Rollins does have minor league options remaining, so the Phils could stash him in Triple-A next year if he doesn’t break camp with the club. Then again, the Phillies may try to pass Rollins through waivers themselves at some point with an eye toward keeping him in the organization but freeing up a 40-man roster spot. No team has been able to successfully do that this winter, however.