3B Cody Asche Promoted to Phillies: What’s Next for Michael Young?

3B Cody Asche Promoted to Phillies: What’s Next for Michael Young?

So it begins. With the Phillies mired in an ugly eight-game losing streak, and any designs on making the playoffs this season dashed along with it, the organization has promoted third-base prospect Cody Asche to the big club. It was only the first in what is likely to be a series of moves made in the next 24 hours by a front office that suddenly has all eyes fixed on next year.

The logical question now is what’s in store for Michael Young, who has started 90 of 105 possible games at third for the Phils this year. We don’t imagine they brought up Asche so he could warm the bench, while Young – 36 and a free agent at season’s end – is one of the franchise’s prime candidates to deal before Wednesday’s 4 p.m. trade deadline.

Unfortunately it’s not as simple as that. Young has a full no-trade clause, and although he was willing to waive it for Texas over the offseason in order to join the Phillies, he may not be as cooperative this time around. According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the only move the seven-time All Star will approve is back to the Rangers.

It’s unclear what Ruben Amaro Jr. could get in exchange for Young, a two-to-three-month rental who’s batting .277 with a respectable .342 on-base percentage but dismal .402 slugging. It’s probably going to be significantly less as long as the Rangers have the Fightins over a barrel though.

Assuming Rosenthal’s report is accurate, it seems Young is trying to strong-arm his way back to Texas even at the risk of getting stuck in Philadelphia for the rest of the season. Curious decision, but that’s what the man wants. Perhaps that played some role in the club’s decision to call up Asche before Young was actually dealt – a way of sending a message to the veteran that he could wind up sitting if he stays.

While it remains to be seen how all of that plays out over the next 24 hours, the future is here now. Asche is the projected starter at third base next season, and was in the midst of a strong year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. A fourth-round pick in 2011, the 23 year old is batting .295 with 15 home runs and 68 runs batted in for the IronPigs. Something called Steve Susdorf was designated for assignment to make room on the Phils' roster.

If nothing else, watching how Asche develops at the big-league level will gives fans a reason to keep in touch with the Phils over the last couple months. And one way or another, Young’s role on the diamond is about to be marginalized. Don’t expect a big haul in return, but it’s hard to believe he’ll be here much beyond this time tomorrow.

>> Young deal coming? Phils to call up Asche [CSN]

Temple at No. 19 Navy: Owls go for first AAC title

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Temple at No. 19 Navy: Owls go for first AAC title

Temple (9-3) at No. 19 Navy (9-2)
Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
Saturday, noon, ABC

It would have been hard to picture Temple in the American Athletic Conference championship game after the Owls’ first game of the season, a 28-13 loss to Army.

But that’s exactly where they are three months later, as Temple will take on No. 19 Navy in the conference championship game Saturday.

The Owls and Midshipmen have both been handling opponents as of late. Temple’s won its last four games by at least three touchdowns, while Navy has outscored opponents 141-62 in its past two games.

Let’s take a look at how one of the country’s top offenses and one of the country’s top defenses match up.

Scouting Temple
The Owls' defense seems to get better every week. Temple ranks No. 3 in the Football Bowl Subdivision in total defense and No. 10 in scoring defense. The only two teams that rank higher than the Owls in both categories are Alabama and Michigan.

Teams haven’t scored more than 13 points against the Owls in their last four games, and Temple is outscoring opponents 123-23 during that stretch.

Redshirt-senior defensive lineman Haason Reddick was named a first team all-conference selection earlier this week. He leads the FBS in tackles for loss. Redshirt-senior Praise Martin-Oguike is coming off one of his best games of the season last week against East Carolina, in which he had two sacks, including a forced fumble. He has seven sacks this season.

On offense, Temple’s goal this week will be to sustain drives and keep Navy’s offense off the field. The Owls are currently No. 5 in the FBS in time of possession, holding the ball for more than 34 minutes per game.

Earlier in the week, coach Matt Rhule said senior quarterback Phillip Walker was questionable for Saturday’s game. Walker will likely play, but the Owls might be without one of their top offensive weapons.

Rhule said sophomore running back Ryquell Armstead is doubtful. Armstead has 842 yards and 13 touchdowns this season.

Scouting Navy
The Midshipmen have one of the simplest — yet at that same time one of the best — offenses in the country. Navy ranks No. 2 in rushing yards at 342 yards per game.

Quarterback Will Worth runs the triple option for Navy. He has 2,544 total yards of offense and 33 total touchdowns. He’s passed for 1,363 yards and rushed for 1,181 more.  Worth has a touchdown in 11 straight games.

Worth has attempted 258 rushes compared to 115 passing attempts. Four other Navy players have at least 40 rushing attempts this season.

Senior wide receiver Jamir Tillman is the Midshipmen’s best receiving threat. The 6-foot-4 wideout has 32 catches for 533 yards and two touchdowns.

Navy’s defense hasn’t been quite as elite as its offense. The Midshipmen have allowed 30 or more points in four of their last five games.

The Midshipmen are allowing 265 passing yards per game. Opposing quarterbacks have averaged 313 yards and three touchdowns in their last three contests.

Storyline to watch: Can Temple find a way to stop the triple option?
The last time these two teams played was in 2014, when Navy ran for 487 yards and four touchdowns in a 31-24 win against the Owls at Lincoln Financial Field. Temple’s most recent matchup against the triple option was when it lost to Army in its season opener. The Black Knights ran for 329 yards and four touchdowns. With only a week to prepare, Temple will have to find a way to cure its option woes if it wants a chance to win Saturday.

What’s at stake?
The Owls have only won one other conference championship in program history, when they won the Mid-Atlantic Conference in 1967. A win would also give Temple its third 10-win season in program history. If Western Michigan loses Friday night, Temple also puts itself in contention for a spot in the Cotton Bowl with a win.

Prediction
Temple has to figure out this option thing at some point, right? The Owls’ ability to convert on third down and sustain long drives will help slow Navy's offense. This one will most likely come down to who has the ball last, but the Owls are a little bit more well-rounded, so they get the edge. Temple 31, Navy 28