Asche won't try outfield if Franco is called up

Asche won't try outfield if Franco is called up

NEW YORK -- Triple-A Lehigh Valley infielder Maikel Franco could be in the big leagues as early as Monday when rosters expand.

If he is called up, the Phillies will need to find playing time for Franco, who is the club's No. 3 prospect. He can spell Ryan Howard at first base, but he also can play third base. The organization has discussed the possibility of third baseman Cody Asche ending up in the outfield. But if it happens, it will happen after the season.

Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said it would be unfair to ask Asche to play the outfield next month, considering he has not played there before.

"Right now, he's a third baseman," Sandberg said about Asche. "He's come a long way. That's kind of where it stands as we speak."

If the Phillies decide to try Asche in the outfield, it likely would happen in Spring Training.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.