The Phillies had a bit of scare on Sunday afternoon, as starting third baseman Cody Asche took a fastball to the bottom of his right hand in their Grapefruit League game against the Pirates. Here's the pitch:
The plunking by southpaw Yao-Hsun Yang was pretty clearly unintentional. Asche stayed on the ground for a minute or two as he was looked at by the trainer. He pointed to the bottom of his hand just above the wrist and was removed from the game as a precaution.
Serious injury appears to have been avoided, thankfully. The Phillies announced that a preliminary ultrasound came back clean and the current diagnosis is just a bruise. I'm sure Asche will be examined further considering how easy it is to break a bone -- especially a small hairline fracture -- in your hand on a pitch like that.
Asche, 23, made his MLB debut last year and hit .235/.302/.389 (90 OPS+) with five home runs in 50 late season games. He hit .287/.343/.438 with 29 homers in his brief (302 games) minor league career after being the team's fourth round pick in the 2011 draft.
Prior to last season, Baseball America ranked Asche as Philadelphia's seventh best prospect and said he is "not a prototypical power-hitting, slick-fielding third baseman, but Asche should hit enough to have a regular big league role."