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Asche likely to start at third, but has competition

Prospect Franco also seeing time at hot corner, along with first base

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Cody Asche is the heavy favorite to be the Phillies' Opening Day third baseman, but nothing is guaranteed.

"We have competitions at lot of different spots," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said Wednesday.Top

Maikel Franco, the club's No. 2-ranked prospect, according to, also plays third base. Both Asche and Franco are talented players who play the same position, although the Phillies have been working out Franco at first base to give him a little more versatility.

"Really good moves at third base," Sandberg said about Franco. "Real good glove. He has a knack for the harder the play it is, the softer he is. I don't know where he got that. I haven't asked him. That's instincts. That is second-nature stuff. I've seen him in live [batting practice] have a good, quality swing already. He's shown a lot of good stuff. I see him working real hard. He's around a lot of good guys."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for
Read More: Philadelphia Phillies, Cody Asche, Maikel Franco