Let the rocky stretch for Phillies top prospect Domonic Brown continue.
After an off-season plagued with struggles in the Dominican Winter League that continued into Spring Training, Brown fractured his “hambone” on his first hit of the young Grapefruit League season late last week, sending him to the operating table less than month before opening day.
Fortunately for Brown, the prognosis in terms of his long-term health looks good.
The surgery was, as reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer, a success, and the timetable for his return is around 4-6 weeks. Furthermore, Brown will be able resume baseball activities such as swinging a bat in about 2-3 weeks, or after the removal of his splint.
With that said, the question is not whether Domonic Brown WILL get healthy.
The question is WHEN he is healthy, where will the 4th ranked prospect in all of baseball begin playing his regular season games?
Before the injury, Phillies skipper Charlie Manuel was attempting to give Brown every single opportunity imaginable to win the starting RF job over Ben Francisco, Ross Gload, John Mayberry Jr., and anyone else has been partaking in this friendly competition among potential teammates.
However, all that did was make matters even more difficult. Brown responded by going 0-15 at the plate with 9 K’s before his first hit (a single up the middle) was inevitably the final swing he’ll take in any Spring Training game.
At this point, it seems that Domonic Brown has borderline failed every single set of criteria the Phillies organization has set for him to be an everyday player at the big league level. Whether that it all his fault or not, the void left by outgoing RF Jayson Werth has not been filled, and the person slated to be responsible for such a task will be six months removed from playing his last productive innings of baseball.
To answer my own previous question, the evidence that was just stated clearly supports a certain notion.
Much to the dismay of Phillies fans everywhere and even members within the organization, it seems plausible and expected to some extent that Domonic Brown will start the season at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Before you readers make a jump from one of the local bridges or simply throw a hissy fit, let me try to rationalize to you the thought process of the Phillies front office contingent if they do decide to go down this particular road with Brown.
This is not a demotion.
This is not Domonic Brown NOT living up to his hype.
This is a primary example of a 23-year-old kid who is learning what it takes to be a MLB ballplayer.
And this is our way of giving Domonic Brown the best opportunity to succeed in doing so.
But is that the correct thought process?
Ironically, Ben Francisco, Ross Gload, John Mayberry Jr. and company will be able to answer that in the coming weeks far better than Domonic Brown will.