Asche (oblique) said he is nearly ready to come off the disabled list, Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. "I am close for sure," Asche said. "There are a couple of little things I need to shore up in the box, kind of leading to some not-so-favorable results."
Appel failed to make it out of the first inning during his start Sunday for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. His fastball was topping out at 89 mph, down from his typical 94-95 mph velocity in the early innings, Tom Housenick of the Allentown Morning Call reports.
Manager Pete Mackanin said at some point Howard's role could be reduced, but nothing is imminent, Jim Salisbury of CSN Philadelphia reports. “I'm going to look at it a week at a time,” Mackanin said. “We'll see. At some point it might come to that, but I can't say it's imminent.”