Posts Tagged ‘Domonic Brown

27
Jul
11

PHILLIES: My Phillies Trade Proposal

Needed to bring the “Philly Phour” back one last time to voice my opinions on a potential Phillies deal that can’t be summed up on Twitter in 140 characters and is way too creepy to leave on facebook as a status or note.

As most of you have heard, the Phillies have been in the market for a right-handed bat, preferably an outfielder,  since the 2o11 season began. Now, as Carlos Beltran, one of the rumored targets for the Phillies, has been traded to the defending World Series champs, it’s time to stop messing around if you are Ruben Amaro.

If you are the Phillies brass, and you are very serious about acquiring a strong RH bat and an outfielder who you can plug in the middle of your order, cut the crap and DO IT NOW.

Yes, I am well aware that Astros OF Hunter Pence and White Sox OF Carlos Quentin have been said to be off the market, or if you can pry them away from their current teams, you may have to give up an arm and a leg to get them. However, if Dominic Brown (top prospect on all of baseball who is part of the future and the present) isn’t involved, there is no reason why the Phillies shouldn’t try to do this.

Here is what I propose: P Vance Worley (middle of the rotation, pro-ready pitcher) , 1B Jonathan Singleton (top offensive prospect) , OF John Mayberry Jr. (big league, 25-man roster ready outfielder)

And here is my reasoning.

Worley: I know, I know. He’s been the biggest surprise for the Phillies so far this year. Making up for the absence of Roy Oswalt and Joe Blanton by going 7-2 with a sub 3.00 ERA and stabilizing the back end of the rotation in the process. Might be the future of the Phillies pitching staff. But look at it this way. The Phillies are ultimately thinking about making a deal like this to succeed in the playoffs against the likes of the Giants, Braves, Brewers, Cardinals, etc and make it to another World Series. Who would you rather on your team to help do that? As much as I like Vance Worley (and I do like him), it’s not him. Even if Worley continues to pitch this well or better, AT BEST, he makes the Phillies postseason roster as no better than the teams 4th starter. That means he likely doesn’t pitch in a starting role in the NLDS, and just one game in the NLCS or WS if you want to look that far ahead. No more than 18 innings pitched at most, and if Roy Oswalt comes off the D.L and bounces back well, it will be far fewer than that. So personally, as much as I appreciate Worley’s role on the team, I still would rather have an all-star OF in Pence or Quentin that would start virtually every single game than someone who may have a limited impact in the postseason based on the talent ahead of him and if the right people decide to get healthy.

Singleton: Best pure hitting prospect that the Phillies have and a preseason top 100 prospect in baseball. He is also the Phillies most expendable top prospect based on the depth they have in the organization. Even as a 20-year-old, the Phillies organization has already seemed to give up on an outfield experiment for Singleton, meaning he is only set to play one other position. First base. Well, if I remember correctly, Philadelphia has a guy in Ryan Howard who both talent wise and financially, is slated to play at that corner infield spot for the next half a decade. Again, I understand that the Phillies like what they see in Singleton and he may be the future of the position, but with the Big Piece in his way, you cannot overvalue a player too much if he is at least 4+ years away from making an impact at the big league level with the organization.

Mayberry: Really like what Mayberry has done this year. Can play all three OF position, and shown the ability to hit a little. Very attractive quality for a rebuilding team or a team decimated by injuries. But, in a deal to obtain a player like him who is just simply better at playing the game of baseball, I’m sorry, but John Mayberry Jr. is expendable. As well as he has been playing this year and as much as he has been improving, he will NEVER be better than Hunter Pence and Carlos Quentin. His ceiling is just not that high. It’s as simple as that.

So that’s my proposal. Worley, Singleton, Mayberry. If the Phillies can get either one of Hunter Pence and Carlos Quentin, as I said, they should just do the damn thing.

For those who say that you are ruining future of the organization, here is rebuttal. Screw the future. Seriously, screw it.  I don’t know if you have paid close attention to the last three years of trades for the Philadelphia Phillies, but it has become pretty clear that the FUTURE IS NOW. When you trade 7 of your top 15 prospects over a 2 1/2 year span, and the vast majority of the nucleus of your team is over the age of 3o, the window of opportunity to reach the ultimate goal of a World Series and parade down Broad St. is closing with ever time there is mention the word future . If there is too much thought going towards future success and World Series titles, than in my opinion, especially considering the makeup of this team, the future will never become the present.

With this team, playing 162 regular season games and the hope of playing postseason baseball is done for one reason. It’s not to be just competitive year in and year out. It’s to win World Series titles. Plain and simple.

With this blow-you-out-of-the-water proposed deal, as much as the Phillies would be giving up with their future things of that nature, their chances for winning a Fall Classic will have improved.

And that’s good enough reason to do this deal.

07
Apr
11

PHILLIES: Starting Off Strong

So, it appears that the era of the 4 aces and overwhelming expectations has gotten off to a pretty solid start.

With the first week of the MLB season coming to a close, the Phillies are sitting at 4-1 in their first 5 games, with Thursday’s series-finale rubbermatch against the Mets hanging in the balance.

Yes. I am well aware that we are only 5 games, or roughly 3%, through the season.

But, considering Chase Utley, Brad Lidge, and top prospect Domonic Brown have been out action since the first pitch was thrown at Citizens Bank Park last Thursday, the opportunity to win five out of their first six games would go a long way to silencing any critics who said that the Phillies season was doomed from when Cliff Lee signed that dotted line in December.

Speaking of Lee ( 7 IP, 4 H, 3 ER. 11 K’s in a 9-4 win over the Houston Astros), he was just one of quite a few Phillies that have stood out so far.

(Statistics accurate as of 4/7)

Ryan Howard: For all those who were worried that the Big Piece’s production would suffer with the absence of Utley in the lineup, let’s just hope the first week was not just an admiration. Howard is what baseball scouts would like to call “locked in” at the plate right now. So far, the Phillies 1B and cleanup hitter is 11-for-21 (.524) with 2 HR, and is already leading the National League in RBI’s with 8. The only blemish for Howard is that, like usual, the strikeouts are not hard to come by (6 in 5 games).

Placido Polanco: Was a little worried about Polly going into the season. Getting up there in age, had off-season elbow surgery, production diminished greatly at the back end of the 2010 season. However, like last season, Polanco has gotten off to a scorching hot start. However, in contrast to 2010, where a power was the story for Polanco, a .450 BA with 4 RBI’s and a .522 OBP has made him quite the catalyst in the early going for the Phillies.

Ben Francisco: Talk about making the most of an opportunity. In the absence of Domonic Brown, who is scheduled to return later this month after undergoing surgery for a broken hambone, Francisco has absolutely been tearing the cover off the ball so far during this 2011 campaign. While his .333 BA, 2 HR, 5 RBI’s says a lot, it is impossible for a simple statline to include 2-3 balls hit that were knocked down by the wind at Citizens Bank Park that would have been as good as gone if they were hit in June or July.

Honorable Mentions: Jimmy Rollins (.368 BA hitting out of the 3-hole), Raul Ibanez (.300 BA, 4 RBI’s), Wilson Valdez ( .294 BA, 2 RBI’s), Roy Oswalt (6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 6 K’s in first start), Antonio Bastardo ( 1-0, 1 Hold, 2.2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 3 K’s)

08
Mar
11

PHILLIES: Domonic Brown Has Hand Surgery

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.

"Hambone" surgery will likely sideline Domonic Brown for at least a month.

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.

24
Feb
11

PHILLIES: Spring Training Opener

IT’S HERE!

Well, sorta.

As the Phillies take part in their traditional spring training opener with their bitter rival that is the Florida State Seminoles, here is their first official lineup of the 2011 season.

LINEUP

Victorino CF, Polanco 2B, Ibanez DH, Howard 1B, Francisco LF, D. Brown RF, Ruiz C, Orr 2B, Valdez SS

Notable Absences: SS Rollins, 2B Utley

PITCHING

Starting Pitcher: D. Naylor

Bullpen: E. Bonine, J. Perez, J. De Fratus, M. Stutes, M. Schwimer, S. Mathieson

11
Nov
10

PHILLIES: Free Agency Updates

Not much in the form of big news yet when it comes to the Phillies, or really all of baseball, and free agency.

While it usually doesn’t heat up until around the time of the Winter Baseball Meetings (Dec. 6th-9th in Orlando, FL), things seem to be moving abnormally slow this year.

With that said, here are the updates surrounding the Phillies at this time.

: Jayson Werth, for the time being, is still a member of the Philadelphia Phillies organization. We would be crazy to think this will stand though. It has been reported as most recent as Thursday that there is a “slim to zero” chance that Werth will stay. That had to be expected though. Expect the Red Sox to be the front-runner for the RF’s services, while the Tigers, Dodgers, and Angels could be interested as well.

: With Werth most likely out the door, the search for a right-handed bat to platoon with Dom Brown is on. Names such as Aaron Rowand (remember him?), Jeff Francoeur and Matt Diaz have been surfacing around for a little while as potential candidates. However, the most recent name, Jermaine Dye (per FOX Sports’s Ken Rosenthal), may be the most intriguing candidate. Even being a year removed from the game, and having some defensive liabilities when he did play, I can’t say I would mind seeing him in RF in Citizens Bank Park from time-to-time next season.

: As stated in my last post, the contracts of Greg Dobbs, J.C Romero, and Jamie Moyer were not renewed. Nothing has changed on that front, as each player is still considered a free agent. Quick update on Moyer. It looks like he will finally be on his way to retirement, as he was sent back to Philadelphia earlier week for a MRI on his previously injured left-elbow after feeling discomfort while pitching Winter League baseball in the Dominican. Not quite the end that we imagined for the now 47-year old southpaw, but I don’t think he’ll have much trouble finding a job in baseball as a pitching coach if he does decide to hang up the cleats.

: To make up for the departure of beloved 1st Base coach Davey Lopes, the Phillies another fan favorite to the coaching staff. On Wed., former Phillie Juan Samuel was hired as the team’s 3B coach, while last years 3B coach Sam Perlozzo will now move to 1st Base. Samuel played for the Phillies from 1983-1989, and was inducted into the Wall of Fame in 2008.

: From a minor league perspective, the Phillies farm system has also been quiet. The organization has signed two new players (SS Carlos Rivero and 2B Pete Orr) to minor-league deals. In addition to that, they have also resigned C Dane Sardinha, who hit .205 with 3 HR in spot duty with the Phillies but spent most of the season with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, to a minor-league deal as well.

30
Sep
10

PHILLIES: Projecting The NLDS Roster

Now that the Phillies have not only clinched a playoff birth, but have also locked up yet another NL East crown and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, it’s time to erase the next week of meaningless baseball from our memory and actually focus on what’s important.

Yes folks, would be the Phillies fourth straight appearance in the postseason.

As I said in my last post, I would break down the potential playoff roster once everything was clinched. Well, I am a man of my word, and since the Phillies 2010 playoffopener will officially be played Wed, October 7th with an opponent that will TBD, it looks like it is about time to see how the current 33-man roster will dwindle down to 25 once the NLDS starts.

PITCHERS (11): In this breakdown, I have the Phillies keeping four starters and eight relievers. In reality, with the way the schedule looks as of right now (Games on Wed, Fri, Sun, Mon, Wed.), they will most likely use three starters, in which Doc should be ready to go if a fourth game is needed on 4-days rest. With that said, Joe Blanton will most likely be on the playoff roster as a possible 4th game starter, and if not, a middle-reliever if need be.  With Blanton on the roster, along with Danys Baez, who was signed to a deal in the off-season basically to give this team another veteran hard-throwing RHP for the month of October, that means both David Herndon and Kyle Kendrick will be left off, as their normal spot on the 25-man roster should be fulfilled by a second LHP as you will see below. I also project Cole Hamels to start game 2, so he will have the opportunity to pitch at Citizens Bank Park in front of a home crowd, something that worked quite well with him in the last two previous postseasons.

SP: Roy Halladay (Game 1 Starter)

SP: Cole Hamels (Game 2/3 Starter)

SP: Roy Oswalt (Game 2/3 Starter)

SP: Joe Blanton (Game 4 Starter/Middle Reliever)

RHP: Chad Durbin

RHP: Danys Baez

RHP: Jose Contreras

LHP: J.C Romero

LHP: Antonio Bastardo

Setup: Ryan Madson

Closer: Brad Lidge

CATCHERS (2)

This is pretty simple. In a 5-game series, barring injury concerns, there is no need to have three catchers on the roster. With Carlos “Chooch” Ruiz and primary backup Brian Schneider, fortunately, there aren’t any of those concerns. With that said, look for the Phillies to keep a veteran backstop, that being Paul Hoover, in the bullpen as a nice little security blanket close by if the injury bug bites in the NLDS.

C: Carlos Ruiz

C: Brian Schneider

INFIELDERS (7): Aside from the normal starters and Wilson Valdez, Phillies management has some tough decisions to make on this end. Do they keep an extra outfielder with speed such as Domonic Brown or John Mayberry Jr.  instead of Greg Dobbs, who would usually be a shoe-in to play in the postseason if not for his struggles this season? At this point, in a NLDS 5-game series, I think yes. Also, the mid-season addition of Mike Sweeney limits the need for Dobbs as the combination of he, Vladez, Ross Gload have proven that they are able to play the positions that Dobbs can at an even higher level.

1B: Ryan Howard

2B: Chase Utley

SS: Jimmy Rollins

3B: Placido Polanco

UTIL: Ross Gload

UTIL: Mike Sweeney

UTIL: Wilson Valdez

OUTFIELDERS (5): Another tough one here. Aside from the everyday starters and Ben Francisco, the final outfield spot comes down to three guys. Domonic Brown, John Mayberry Jr., and yet again, Greg Dobbs. As a stated before, Dobbs’s lackluster performance this year really leaves him in a difficult position to make the postseason roster in any capacity. When it comes down to Dobbs and Mayberry, the biggest thing here is need. If the Phillies take Mayberry, that leaves only one possible LH situational hitter (Gload) on the bench. While it does depend on who they play in the NLDS, I don’t see Charlie Manuel and company feeling comfortable with that regardless of the opponent. I just don’t. Along with that rationale, taking Brown along for the postseason ride would go a long way towards giving him the proper experience that would allow him to properly implant Jayson Werth in the Phillies outfield once Werth bolts for the allure of dollar signs come the offseason.

RF: Jayson Werth

CF: Shane Victorino

LF: Raul Ibanez

OF: Ben Francisco

OF: Domonic Brown

Well, that was my stab at it. The two toughest calls here are obviously the battle of the last utility spot between Brown, Mayberry, and Dobbs and the decision of who’s going to be the 11th pitcher between Baez, Kendrick, and Durbin.

While I know the anticipation is killing all of you, the good news is that you only have to wait until next Wed. to find out.

07
Sep
10

PHILLIES: Recap of September Call-Ups

Fresh off of a split with a double-header against the Florida Marlins and sitting just a half-game back of the NL East leading Atlanta Braves, the Phillies made what looks like the last of their September roster moves (besides Danys Baez coming back up when he is healthy), as it appears that John Mayberry Jr. will likely join the team on Tuesday for the final month of the regular season.

Just to recap this protocol, on September 1st, the MLB rosters are able to expand from the usual 25-man roster to a maximum 40-player roster. This allows players who are currently on the Phillies organizational 40-man roster that are minor leagues for whatever reason to be brought up to major league competition until the end of the regular season without any coinciding roster move.

Including the probable addition of Mayberry and optimism surrounding the health of Baez, that will most likely bring the total to nine, that being the number additional players who will be occupying spots in the Phillies clubhouse until October 3rd (final day of the regular season).

Here is a recap of all the moves and the impact that these players may be able to make down the stretch.

RHP Danys Baez: Baez, a reliever who was once thought of as a potential closer if the Brad Lidge situation did not pan out, has been much of a disappointment since signing a 2-year, 5.5 million dollar contract at the start of the 2010 season. Inconsistent at best and borderline unbearable at worst, there is a reason that the team is not rushing to bring him back to the fold from injury. At the most, he may take up some mop-duty roles if games are out of hand to keep the likes of Ryan Madson, Chad Durbin, J.C Romero, and Jose Contreras fresh for when it really matters.

OF John Mayberry Jr.: While it’s not official yet, it’s widely assumed that Mayberry will be with the Phillies come Tuesday. Say what you want about him (overrated, a 1st rd. bust, etc.) but he really does have value for this team. For one, he absolutely demolishes lefties (.350 this year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley), so pinch-hitting duties and an occasional starting nod to spare Raul Ibanez against those southpaws may be in the cards for Mayberry if he is promoted. Secondly, Mayberry’s 20 stolen bases this year should give him an opportunity to pinch-run late in games. Lastly, his ability to play the two corner OF positions at an above-average level will give manager Charlie Manuel the option of using him during double-switch situations late in games. All things considered, none of this is valid if he is not added to the big league roster.

An interesting subplot to the end of the season could be the usage of Vance Worley.

RHP Vance Worley: Now this is a bit interesting. Worley has made a meteoric jump on MLB prospect lists since going from Double-A Reading to his first ever big league on Monday in the span of 3 months (a time frame that also includes being involved in the Roy Oswalt trade rumors). Yesterday, Worley did nothing to stop his climb to the top of the organizational mountain, going 5 innings and giving up just 2 ER in a spot-start against the Marlins. Just to refresh your memories, the Phillies branch has never been thrilled with the idea of Kyle Kendrick as the teams fifth starter, and I’m going to go out there on a limb and say that Worley’s role on this team for every fifth game will show that. Catch my drift? Even if that is not the case, Worley’s two well above-average big league pitches (FB, Slider) will allow him to have some worth as a primary long reliever in the next few weeks.

LHP Mike Zagurski: This was to be expected. Zagurski spent a month with the Phillies earlier this season when J.C Romero was down, and has showed utter dominance at with Lehigh Valley this year (13 straight scoreless innings at one point). While his transition to the big leagues could be viewed by some as shaky, with the ability to expand the roster, having LHP representation in the bullpen besides Romero and Antonio Bastardo was a must, and Zagurski and the next player I am going to talk about were really the only suitable candidates who could fill that role for this team.

LHP Nate Robertson: The former Tigers/Marlins starting pitcher was signed almost two weeks ago by the Phillies for one specific reason. Flexibility. In the past two seasons, Robertson has pitched in 47 games. He’s started 24 of them. So basically, the guy has just as much experience starting games has he does coming in relief. That had to weigh heavily in the mind of GM Ruben Amaro Jr. when they he, along with other members of the front office, were discussing signing a LHP for the stretch run. Well, his 6.1 innings of scoreless baseball he pitched AGAINST the Phillies as a member of the Marlins on April 18th this season may have had an impact as well.

RHP Scott Mathieson: Probably the move that most fans wanted to see. In July, Phillies fans got a small taste of Mathieson’s near 100 MPH in one game of relief duty. That first big league appearance in three years (two Tommy John surgeries later) may not have gone as well as all those involved would have liked, but a player who can bring a fastball like that to the table when he steps up to the mound is bound to be an valuable asset to a team in the middle of a pennant race, regardless of how much he actually pitches.

1b/ OF Ross Gload: It’s not really fair to lump Gload into the Sepetember “call-up” category, but his presence back in the Phillies clubhouse after a month on the disabled list can is indeed  a welcoming addition to the roster. While a groin injury may have sidelined Gload for the better part of the Phillies recent surge up the standings, he should assume duties as the Phillies primary LH bat along with Domonic Brown off the bench when he is deemed healthy to do so.

INF/OF Greg Dobbs: Dobbs has been designated for assignment twice this season due to his ability to produce at the big league level, so his production and playing time may be limited. However, once upon a time, Dobbs was the league leader in pinch hits, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Charlie Manuel, being the player’s coach that he is, gives Dobbs a couple at-bats against RHP, since he still has shown the ability to hit them even during this stretch of baseball that may mark the end of his career.

C Paul Hoover: Kind of ironic that the first of these call-ups may have been the most insignificant. Hoover, as it stands right now, is buried behind Carlos Ruiz and Brian Schneider on the teams depth chart at his position. This year though, with injuries being a common theme with both of those catchers, Hoover’s worth is to the team is invaluable, whether he is in the clubhouse or being used as the bullpen catcher.  Can’t say I would be comfortable seeing him behind the dish in a meaningful game though.

Notable absences from this list include both Andy Tracy and Cody Ransom.  Before you say “Why?”, take note of a possible and probable reason.

They are not on the current 40-man roster.

So, in order for them to participate in a big league contest, the Phillies would have to take two players off the 40-man roster, enabling them to be picked up on another team via waivers. As of right now, I cannot see the Phillies doing that to anyone besides Dobbs, and he would have to REALLY struggle for them to do so. Truthfully, I don’t see Dobbs getting enough opportunities to struggle any more than he has already, so it’s kind of a mute point.

For right now that is.




The Philly Phour

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