2015 Phillies Report Card: Alec Asher

Alec Asher was probably the least important component to the Cole Hamels trade. Jake Thompson, Nick Williams, and Jorge Alfaro all have some level of future star potential. Jerad Eickhoff is already pitching well in the majors, and Matt Harrison, who I keep forgetting about, might never put on a Phillies uniform, but getting out from under his contract allowed the Rangers to absorb Hamels’ contract more easily and greased the skids for this deal. At the time, I said I was worried that the Phillies would trade Hamels for 50 cents on the dollar, and I wanted them to get another dollar bill back–a Corey Seager or Xander Bogaerts. What I hadn’t considered is the possibility that they might trade a dollar bill for three quarters, two dimes and a nickel, which is what happened. Asher is the nickel in this metaphor.

Maybe he’ll improve on a rocky rookie season in the future, but Asher’s most important contribution to the Phillies was restocking the team’s eye candy quotient.

I’m mostly serious about this. In their salad days, the Phillies had no shortage of good-looking players. There was the boyishly handsome Cole Hamels, the rugged Jayson Werth (before he stopped grooming himself), the roguish Cliff Lee, and the 1950s movie star appeal of Pat Burrell. To say nothing of Chase Utley, who came out of the womb looking like a hot dad, and inspired more swooning than any Philadelphia athlete in recent history. Look good, play good, I suppose.

Asher is so good-looking he almost doesn’t look real. His eyes are almost unnaturally blue, his hair almost unnaturally dark. His beard is trimmed with such fastidious precision it makes me wonder if there’s a third unknown Maddux brother who works as a barber and counts Asher among his clients.

And then we have his eyebrows. Alec Asher’s eyebrows are a marvel of modern genetics and engineering. They combine the grace of a dancer with the masculinity of a dump truck. They are sculpted with an airy flourish, as if they were designed by Santiago Calatrava.

All of this gives Asher his aforementioned unhuman quality. He’s like a veela. (Do they even have male veelas? I’ll admit my knowledge of the Harry Potter Universe only goes so far.) He’s what you’d get if a particularly skilled generous artist tried to draw Wes Bentley with pastels. He is a walking argument that not only should we objectify women in sports less, we should objectify men in sports more.

Also, you figure that Asher’s ERA won’t stay above 9 forever. He might not have the stuff to be anything more than a back-end starter, but he’s certainly got the physicality (mmmm…) and durability to start, which would mitigate the Phillies’ need to go out and get more Jerome Williamses and Aaron Harangs next year. And really, if a No. 5 starter is the sixth-best asset you get in a trade, that’s a pretty good trade.

Grade: C+

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  1. Ted

    October 13, 2015 07:50 AM

    Imagine if this was about a female athlete

    • Romus

      October 13, 2015 08:45 AM

      Alexis Asher?

    • Whitey

      October 15, 2015 12:54 PM

      Baer would have a stroke.

  2. Eddie

    October 13, 2015 08:46 AM

    Good thing Baumann doesn’t do locker room interviews. I think Asher might feel a little uncomfortable with that at this point.

    • Bill Baer

      October 13, 2015 09:15 AM


      The insinuation here is that anyone to the left of “100% straight” on the Kinsey scale (or women) isn’t fit to interview professional athletes. Hope you think about that a little bit.

      • Eddie

        October 13, 2015 09:35 AM

        No, the idea is that most men are going to be uncomfortable getting nekkid in front of a guy that just went on and on about how handsome they were. It’s about the interviewee, not the interviewer.

        Also, Baumann was writing in a lighthearted tone, and I was responding in the same way.

      • Eddie

        October 13, 2015 10:02 AM

        No worries.

  3. Romus

    October 13, 2015 08:47 AM

    I will be looking to see how he does at LHV next season. He is one year younger then Eickhoff and next season could see him progress as Eickhoff did with his last year in AAA.

  4. smittyboy

    October 13, 2015 02:52 PM

    My concern, if one was to treat him as a Jerome Williams/Adam Harang, is that you run the serious risk of damaging his confidence and psyche beyond repair by putting him on the mound every fifth day to get beaten up like the 0-6 record he earned at year end. Its one thing for a grizzled well travelled veteran to get beaten up but quite another for a young pitcher to be regularly fed to the wolves. There was almost a palpable sense of pain in watching David Buchanon trudge off the mound after getting assaulted with batted balls. I can’t imagine Asher didn’t feel the same way. This all smacks of Bill Baer’s reminders that DeFratus was really sacrificed for the betterment of the organization ? other relievers ? Should this be some sort of protocol with certain of the Phillies’ pitching staff ? I would suggest, not without serious cost.

    • Chris S.

      October 13, 2015 04:13 PM

      His first name is Aaron not Adam and I am pretty sure that the Phillies actually signed Paul Giamatti in the middle of the season to make it look like Aaron Harang was healthy at the trade deadline.

  5. johnny eagle

    October 13, 2015 08:54 PM

    This article is creepy.

    • Romus

      October 14, 2015 08:10 AM

      Did seem a bit cringe-worthy.

  6. Bob

    October 14, 2015 12:09 AM

    I didn’t think the Phillies should’ve called up Asher. He wasn’t great in the minors and he predictably struggled in the majors. Then again, he’ll probably amount to a depth player with his ceiling be a number five. So, it’s not like his development was hurt.

  7. Pete

    October 14, 2015 04:23 AM

    I know Bill doesn’t like negative comments about the writers. So all I’ll say is, boy do I love Corinne’s report card posts (really, everything she writes). Always insightful, always researched, always respectful of subject and reader. I’ve been meaning to write that in a reply to one of her posts, but I always feel a little uncomfortable fawning over great writing and great thinking. But today, I feel so much like fawning over Corinne. Thank you so much Corinne for joining the Crashburn family. You’ve really elevated the level of discourse in what (with a relatively few minor, stubborn exceptions) was already extraordinarily high.

    • Romus

      October 14, 2015 08:12 AM

      Could not agree more….look forward to her analysis.
      She is GM skilled.

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