Asher to make Major League debut on Sunday

Asher to make Major League debut on Sunday

PHILADELPHIA -- Alec Asher will be the latest piece from the Cole Hamels trade to join the Phillies.

The Phillies announced Friday afternoon that Asher will make his big league debut on Sunday afternoon against the Padres at Citizens Bank Park. Asher, 23, went 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in four starts with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He went 3-6 with a 4.73 ERA in 12 starts with Triple-A Round Rock before the Rangers traded him to the Phillies in July in the Hamels deal.

"He's pitched with confidence, so we've liked what we've seen a great deal," Phillies player development director Joe Jordan said of Asher. "He presents himself very well. I think he'll come up here and be himself. He should be fine if he does that."

The Rangers sent outfielder Nick Williams, catcher Jorge Alfaro and pitchers Jake Thompson, Jerad Eickhoff, Asher and big league pitcher Matt Harrison for Hamels, Jake Diekman and cash. The Phillies promoted Eickhoff last week. He is 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA in two starts.

The Phillies temporarily moved right-hander Jerome Williams to the bullpen to make room for Asher in the rotation. Williams picked up the save by pitching two perfect innings in Friday's 7-1 win over the Padres. But Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said Williams is expected to rejoin the rotation when rosters expand in September.

The Phillies are expected to try a six-man rotation as they monitor the workload for Aaron Nola, Adam Morgan, Eickhoff and Asher.

"That's probably on the horizon," Mackanin said about the expanded rotation, "so most likely or probably or maybe he'll be back in the rotation. But it gives us the chance to give Asher -- they didn't want him to come here this soon but I think it's fine. I think it's great to see him.

"He's a good soldier," Mackanin said about Williams. "He knows what it's about. He's willing to go in the pen for help for any time we need it."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.