Results tagged ‘ Domonic Brown ’

Lee Could Be Back Next Week

Cliff Lee could be back in the Phillies rotation early next week.

Today he threw his first bullpen session since straining his left oblique April 18 in San Francisco. Lee reported no pain. He said if he feels fine tomorrow, he is scheduled to throw a second bullpen session Saturday. Assuming that goes well, he could pitch for the Phillies a few days later at Citizens Bank Park.

“I feel good about it,” Lee said. “If things go well, it’s one more bullpen and then the game. That’s the plan for now, but that’s all flexible.”

Lee said he has been pain-free recently.

“It did linger a little bit,” he said. “But it’s slowly gotten better. But the last two days have been drastically better than the four or five days before that. It just kind of plateaud and stayed the same. But the last two has been good.”

Asked if it is safe to say the problem is gone, Lee said, “Everything throw, I didn’t feel anything. There are a couple exercises I do where I can barely feel it, but compared to how it was before it’s pretty safe to say it’s on its way to being gone.”

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Domonic Brown strained his left hamstring today in Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He is day to day.

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Right-hander David Herndon has a strained pronator tendon. He is not throwing for three weeks.

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The guys at Phillies Nation TV had me on this week to talk about The Rotation. Check it out!

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Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here! Here are our upcoming book signings:

  • May 10: Tredyfrrin Public Library in Stafford, PA, 7:30 p.m.
  • June 2: Citizens Bank Park, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Check out my Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter.has a strained pronator tendon. He is not throwing for three weeks.

Going the Wrong Way

Good morning from Arizona.

A few thoughts/facts on one of baseball’s worst offenses through 16 games:

  • The Phillies have a .283 on-base percentage, .317 slugging percentage and 2.69 runs per game average. No team (in either league) has finished a season with a lower OBP since the 1968 Mets (.281), a lower SLG since the 1972 Rangers (.290) or a lower runs per game average since the 1942 Phillies (2.61). So unless you think the 2012 Phillies are one of the worst offenses in baseball history, they will improve. But how much? And will it happen in enough time to make a difference?
  • The Phillies have scored two or fewer runs in 10 games, and in 5 of their last 6.
  • We could see Chase Utley at the ballpark today, while Ryan Howard is scheduled to see a wound specialist in Philadelphia. Is there any shot the Phillies get good news from both?
  • I’m an Utley skeptic at this point because he proved to be no better than an average big-league hitter last season. It’s just difficult to believe he will return to All-Star form when he is still battling the same knee problems. (His .769 OPS last year would have ranked 77th out of 146 hitters had he qualified for the statistic.) But here’s something interesting: From April 1 through May 22 last season without Utley in the lineup, the Phillies averaged 3.83 runs per game with a .312 OBP and .364 SLG. From May 23 through July 29 with Utley in the lineup, the Phillies averaged 4.71 runs per game with a .329 OBP and .407 SLG. And from July 30 through the end of the regular season with Utley and Hunter Pence in the lineup, the Phillies averaged 4.54 runs per game with a .324 OBP and a .406 SLG. It is possible even an average Utley can make that much of a difference in the lineup’s performance? It’s something worth thinking about.
  • Jim Thome has 2 hits and 9 strikeouts in 16 at-bats. I’ve had fans ask me if they think he is finished. But I’ve got a crazy idea: Play Thome more. If Charlie Manuel believes Thome needs more at-bats, which he said yesterday, then give them to him. What does Manuel have to lose? There had been talk in spring training that Thome might be able to play as many as two games in the field every week. Maybe even three. What happened to that? Thome has started just three times this season. If Thome plays more and his back flares up, it’s not like his absence is going to kill the offense, as little as he has played and as little as he has contributed as a pinch-hitter. (He’s 0-for-7 with 5 strikeouts as a pinch-hitter.) And as much as Thome has struck out, he also has given the Phillies some of their most “professional” at-bats. He is averaging 4.50 pitches per plate appearance. The next closest Phillies players with 16 or more at-bats are Juan Pierre (4.02) and Placido Polanco (3.94). So turn Thome loose. Let’s see how much he has left in the tank. If he produces, great. If he can’t handle the job physically or he continues to struggle, well, then you know.
  • Oh, and when Thome starts hit him fourth and Pence third. Maybe Pence would be more comfortable hitting somewhere other than cleanup. He has never hit more than 25 homers or had more than 97 RBIs in a season. Cleanup isn’t his spot, at least when Thome is playing.
  • I’ve gotten lots of e-mails and tweets about Domonic Brown, but he is hitting just .263 (15-for-57) with four doubles, one triple and eight RBIs in 15 games with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He has a .311 on-base percentage and a .368 slugging percentage. As much as John Mayberry Jr. has struggled, I can’t see the Phillies considering Brown as the solution in left field with a .680 OPS in Triple-A.

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Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here! Here are our upcoming book signings:

  • April 26: Barnes & Noble in Marlton, NJ, 7 p.m.
  • April 29: Citizens Bank Park, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
  • May 10: Tredyfrrin Public Library in Stafford, PA, 7:30 p.m.
  • June 2: Citizens Bank Park, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

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Dom Down

The Phillies optioned Domonic Brown to Minor League camp this morning.

Brown had trouble getting on the field this month. He sprained his right thumb March 8 and suffered from a stiff neck for the past week, limiting him to just seven Grapefruit League games. He hit .300 (6 for 20) with two triples, one home run, two RBIs, one walk and a .983 OPS, but also showed he needed more work in left field, which has been a struggle.

Brown, although not surprised, was clearly disappointed.

“Life goes on,” he said. “I’m going to go down there and play hard. And that’s it. I was not expecting it, but keeping it in the back of my mind. We’ve got a lot of big-name free agent guys. John Mayberry is playing well. They just told me they want to see me out there every day, so Triple-A is the best spot for it. I’ve been through a lot these last couple years. A lot more than some veteran guys, so I think I can deal with it. I think I can handle it. Go down there and play hard and that’s all I can do.”

The Phillies said in the offseason they planned to have Brown start the season in Triple-A Lehigh Valley, where he can work on his offense and defense. The Phillies believe they have enough options in left field to open the season, even with Mayberry expected to play some first base while Ryan Howard is out. Laynce Nix and Juan Pierre, who is the favorite to be the team’s fifth outfielder, can play left field when Mayberry is at first.

Asked if playing in Triple-A will at least give him a clear mind, Brown said, “No, I wanted to be here, man. That’s the goal, but things happen.”

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Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here!
Here are our upcoming book signings:

  • April 2: Barnes & Noble in Plymouth Meeting, PA, 7 p.m.
  • April 3: Chester County Book Company in West Chester, PA, 7 p.m.
  • April 26: Barnes & Noble in Marlton, NJ, 7 p.m.

Brown Could Be Back Next Week

Well, it could have been worse …

Domonic Brown said this morning at Bright House Field that a MRI exam showed only inflammation in his sprained right thumb. Brown sprained the thumb while diving for a ball in a game Monday.

He said he could be back playing in Grapefruit League games next week.

“That bottom hand is tough, especially when it’s swollen,” Brown said. “If it was the top hand I probably could have played. I’ll be fine.”

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The Phillies are in Lakeland today, playing the Tigers. Roy Halladay is on the mound, and here is the rest of the Phillies lineup:

  1. Tyson Gillies, CF
  2. Scott Podsednik, LF
  3. Ty Wigginton, 1B
  4. Hunter Pence, RF
  5. Laynce Nix, DH
  6. Carlos Ruiz, C
  7. Hector Luna, 3B
  8. Pete Orr, 2B
  9. Freddy Galvis, SS

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Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here!

Baseball America’s Top 10 Phillies Prospects

Here’s a look at Baseball America’s Top 10 Phillies prospects.

Trevor May is No. 1 on this list as Domonic Brown no longer qualifies.

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The Blue Jays have hired Chuck LaMar as special assistant to the GM.

Werth Thinks Pence Is A Good Fit

Jayson Werth was relaxing in the Nationals clubhouse this afternoon with Magnus, his four-month-old Great Dane, when Hunter Pence’s name came up.

“I’m happy for Hunter,” Werth said. “That’s an enviable position to be in. I know firsthand what that’s like.

“Immediately, when I heard it I thought about him going from Houston to Philadelphia. I don’t know how much fun they were having over there (in Houston), but I do know how much fun those guys have over there, what that clubhouse is like, the chemistry, the camaraderie. I know how well a guy like that will fit in. I immediately thought about how much fun he was going to have. I’m happy for him. He’s a good player.”

Werth knows Pence a bit from being on the 2009 National League All-Star team. He said he has spoken with Pence a couple times since his arrival in Philadelphia.

“He seems like a good fit,” he said.

So no more wistful thoughts about Philadelphia or how it should have been him? The Phillies essentially got Pence because they did not find anybody to replace his production in right field. They started the season with Ben Francisco before moving to Domonic Brown.

“Not really,” Werth said. “It was more like, I knew what he was about to get himself into. It kind of made me smile.”

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Pence, Pence, Pence

Here’s my story on the Hunter Pence trade.

And here’s a few quotes from a few of the people we heard from last night:

RUBEN AMARO JR.

On why they wanted Pence:
“We tried to address a need we felt was a missing piece. We believe in our offense as it stands. It has been a little inconsistent … not as consistent as it has been in the past. I think this give us a little bit more balance with a hitter from the right side for Charlie’s lineup. But not only that I think we acquired in a lot of ways somebody that is extremely well rounded, the type of player that we’d like to have here in Philadelphia. There are a lot of elements that are involved here, but clearly the way this guy plays, the way he goes about his business, the effort, the kind of teammate he is and the fact we have him under control for not only the end of this year, but for two more years. Those are very big factors for us. His defense is important for us. The fact that he runs well. He’s got speed. He’s a very, very good athlete. There’s a lot of things that factored onto this one.”

On Domonic Brown’s future with the Phillies:
“We believe Domonic Brown is going to be an outstanding Major League Baseball player. He’s kind of learning on the job as we’ve talked about before. He’s done a nice job for us here. It’s not a knock on Domonic Brown by any stretch of the imagination. We believe and hope he’s going to be a Phillie for a long time. I think for us, again, it’s one of those moves we made for the present, but for the future. Certainly, Dom is part of that.”

On having Pence under their control through 2013 being a big factor in this trade:
“It’s a huge element in it. I think control is a good part. If you know the way we operate … I don’t like rentals. I don’t believe in those. I guess there is a time and place to go that route. In this case as in most case, if you look at the trades we’ve made, very few of them were your classic rental. Certainly that’s a huge element for us in that transaction.”

On chances they make another move before Sunday’s deadline:
“We’ll keep our minds open, but right now I’m very comfortable with our ballclub.”

CHASE UTLEY

On adding a bat like Pence when they already have the best record in baseball:
“I think our front office knows we’re in a special time here in Philadelphia. We have a good team and if they feel like there’s some room for improvement they’re going to make that move. … Prior to the trade we had a pretty good team. I think adding him, a power right-handed bat can definitely help us.”

ROY HALLADAY
On getting Pence when they have the best record in baseball:
“It’s a good feeling, even just knowing they’re out there and they’re trying. Especially being in the position we are. We’re five, six games up and they’re still trying to make us a better team. I think that’s one of the biggest reasons I was adamant on trying to come here. You want to be on the team that’s always trying to get better. … I’m really excited. To be on a team that is trying to give you the best chance to win that they can it’s a lot of fun. Even if they didn’t you know Ruben is going to do everything he can to make us better. Just that in itself means a lot. I can’t wait. We’ve got a good team here and when you’re able to add good players to a good team it makes it a lot of fun.”

DOMONIC BROWN
On any relief he wasn’t traded:
“Uh, I mean, yeah, but anything can still happen. We’ve still got until Sunday. I don’t know. I just hope I’m here. I just hope I’m here and not in Triple-A, but if that was to happen, just go out and play. It’s all I can do.”

On his concern going back to Triple-A:
“Not really concerned, but I would like to be here. That’s the goal.”

Pence Deal Done

The Phillies have acquired Houston Astros outfielder Hunter Pence, two sources said tonight.

A deal is expected to be announced before the end of the night.

One source said the Phillies will send four players to the Astros. None of those players are outfielder Domonic Brown or right-hander Vance Worley, both of whom had been rumored at different times to be part of a deal. Class A first baseman Jonathan Singleton and Class A pitcher Jarred Cosart are part of the trade.

MLB.com ranks Cosart and Singleton the 37th and 38th best prospects in baseball, respectively. They are the organizations top two prospects.

Double-A Reading pitcher Josh Zeid also is in the deal. The fourth is a player to be named later.

The trade boosts a Phillies lineup looking up to keep up with its strong pitching staff. Pence, 28, is hitting .309 with 11 home runs and 62 RBIs. He has a .356 on-base percentage and a .472 slugging percentage. He should help a lineup that has struggled against left-handed pitching.

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I plan to have more later …

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So Pence Costs How Much?

If you had asked me a couple of weeks ago if Domonic Brown, Jarred Cosart and Jonathan Singleton would not be enough to acquire Hunter Pence from the Houston Astros, I would have thought you were crazy.

The Astros would jump on that deal in a heartbeat.

Or not.

Here’s what we know: The Phillies are furiously trying to acquire Pence before Sunday’s 4 p.m. trade deadline. They have dangled Cosart and Singleton, their top pitching and player prospect, respectively. The Phillies are willing to include Brown in a deal … but there are multiple reports the Astros would prefer to spin him to another team for more prospects.

In other words, Brown, Cosart and Singleton are not enough to get Pence.

Wow.

Pence certainly is an immediate upgrade to the Phillies lineup, but that is a major haul to send to Houston. Pence has never had more than 25 homers, 91 RBIs, 93 runs scored, 173 hits or 58 walks in a season. His .828 OPS this season is the best of his career. His .802 OPS from 2008-11 ranks 36th out of 91 qualifying outfielders in baseball. He is a very good player, but he is more of a complimentary piece, like Jayson Werth. This tells me one thing: Ruben Amaro Jr. wants to win NOW. I don’t disagree with that thinking. You don’t know what the future holds. Sure, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels will be in the rotation next season. But will they be healthy? Will they be as good? I think the Phillies should strike while they can, but that still seems like a ton of talent to give up for Pence.

Of course, nobody will care if the Phillies win the World Series. That’s what the Phillies are trying to do. They’ll worry about the future later.

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Lost Opportunity

The Phillies went 4-2 on their six-game road trip through Toronto and Florida, but who would have thought they would have scored a combined 10 runs in their two losses?

You’d think it would be a 3-1 loss and a 1-0 loss.

A couple things from last night:

  • Domonic Brown did not touch second base. He said so. I thought it was strange he had no reaction when Kerwin Danley called him out. I mean, if he knew he touched second he would have reacted in some way. I’m not saying he would have gone Jon Rauch on Danley, but he certainly would have expressed some shock or looked into the dugout or at Juan Samuel like, “Hey, what the heck just happened here? That is the wrong call.” But he just walked back to the dugout.
  • Kyle Kendrick wasn’t happy about being pulled after five innings.  Asked if he thought he had gotten enough from Kendrick, Charlie Manuel said, “I pulled him didn’t I?” I can’t read Manuel’s mind, but I’m guessing he had flashbacks to Kendrick’s previous start in Toronto. Manuel had Kendrick start the seventh with a one-run lead only to watch him allow a two-run homer to Jose Bautista.

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Big series before the All-Star break. The Phillies have the best record in baseball, but guess who is just three games behind them in the National League East? Since the Braves started the season 8-12, they have the best record in the National League (44-24). The Phillies are second (43-27).

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