Results tagged ‘ Domonic Brown ’

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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Victorino Activated, Mayberry Optioned

Earlier this week I thought the Phillies might place Michael Martinez on waivers to make room for Shane Victorino, but it became more obvious they would option John Mayberry Jr. instead.

It became official today.

I’m not in Pittsburgh this weekend, but I’m guessing the reasoning is close to what I wrote yesterday: Mayberry will get very little playing time with Raul Ibanez in left field, Victorino in center field and Domonic Brown and Ben Francisco in right field. Mayberry might be the team’ second-best defensive outfielder (and one of the team’s better runners, too), but he has hit just .187 with three doubles, two homers and nine RBIs since April. He also has hit just .172 against left-handers in that stretch, which hurts his case to platoon in left or right field. Yes, Francisco has struggled. He has hit just .192 against left-handers this season. But here is the reality of the situation: Francisco is making $1.175 million. If Mayberry were hitting .300 against left-handers, I think it would have been a much more difficult decision. But unfortunately for Mayberry, his lack of production at the plate over the last month hurt him.

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Relax for a Second

The Phillies have played seven consecutive games with six or fewer hits and three or fewer runs.

Gotta get a bat, right?

Hold on just a second. Actually, hold on for a month. I’m not ready to start trading prospects or key players on the 25-man roster for a few reasons:

  • Chase Utley hasn’t played yet.
  • Domonic Brown hasn’t played yet.
  • Shane Victorino is on the DL.
  • A couple key hitters are slumping.

The Phillies have not played one game this year, including Spring Training, with their everyday lineup. I want to see what happens when everybody is back. I want to see how Utley plays. I want to see how Brown handles right-handed pitching on a regular basis. If they play like the Phillies expect, their lineup just got a whole lot better. The Phillies are in the perfect storm of slumps right now. They’re missing two of their everyday players, and their other everyday players are in a deep funk. Ryan Howard is in the worst slump of his career (0-for-23). Placido Polanco is hitting .231 this month. Jimmy Rollins is hitting .233. Carlos Ruiz is hitting .211. We know about Ben Francisco‘s struggles, which is a big reason why Brown is here. We know Wilson Valdez and Pete Orr have not been productive offensively at second base. The .567 OPS for Phillies second basemen is 15th in the National League.

Raul Ibanez is the only hitter in the lineup hitting right now. He is hitting .344 this month.

You have to assume Howard, Polanco, Rollins and Ruiz turn things around, although Ruiz has struggled offensively the entire season. If Utley and Brown do their things they should be OK. But if things don’t work out like the Phillies hope, realistically, they don’t seem to have a lot of options. They basically only can improve in the corner outfield spots or second base, if Utley gets hurt again.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. It’s May 21. Tell me the last time a team made a blockbuster trade before June 1? If the Phillies make a move it’s much more likely to happen closer to July 31. That is more than two months away. A lot can happen in two months.

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Surprise, surprise: Brown Called Up

Asked last night why the Phillies would not promote Domonic Brown from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, Ruben Amaro Jr. said, “We don’t think he’s ready to do it.”

His opinion changed over night.

The Phillies recalled Brown to replace Shane Victorino, who went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring. They also optioned Scott Mathieson and recalled David Herndon. I’m guessing the Phillies needed a fresh arm following a bullpen game last night against the Rockies, which is why Mathieson is out and Herndon is in. When the Phillies place Joe Blanton on the DL next week, I think Herndon goes back down and Vance Worley comes back up.

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Returning Home Limping

A few thoughts before the Phillies open a nine-game homestand tonight against the Rockies:

  • The Phillies have a four-game losing streak, exactly the thing Charlie Manuel thought he wouldn’t have before the season started. But when the offense hits .142 (17-for-120) with a .224 on-base percentage and a .200 slugging percentage over four games you’re going to lose, no matter how good the pitching is.
  • The Phillies could use a jolt, but Chase Utley won’t provide it tonight. He’ll be in Clearwater getting at-bats for the Threshers. But this nine-game homestand runs through May 26. Utley has to be activated no later than May 30, if the Phillies think he is healthy, which means there is a good chance we see him before the Phillies hit the road again.
  • Shane Victorino thought his injured hamstring would be fine by tonight, but it sounds like it isn’t there yet if the Phillies are talking about a MRI.
  • Domonic Brown returned to the lineup last night with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He went 1-for-2 with two RBIs and two walks. Like I’ve said, if Brown keeps hitting the ball like he has and the Phillies’ corner outfielders continue to struggle, I think we’ll see Brown sooner rather than later.
  • Not that it will make you feel any better, but according to Elias Sports Bureau, Cardinals pitcher Jamie Garcia is the first pitcher to throw 30 or more innings and allow no more than one earned run in his first four home starts in a season since Roger Clemens in 1991. Clemens allowed just one earned run through his first 32 innings at Fenway Park.

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Updates on Contreras, Lidge, Utley and More

Chatted with Ruben Amaro Jr. for nearly 20 minutes this morning in the visitor’s dugout at Turner Field.

Here’s the latest on the Phillies’ injured.

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MLB.com’s Top 10 Phillies Prospects

I wanted to post this last weekend, but things are crazy the final few days of Spring Training. MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo recently wrote about his top 10 Phillies prospects.

Here they are:

  1. Domonic Brown, OF
  2. Jonathan Singleton, 1B/OF
  3. Jarred Cosart, RHP
  4. Brody Colvin, RHP
  5. Sebastian Valle, C
  6. Jesse Biddle, LHP
  7. Trevor May, RHP
  8. Aaron Altherr, OF
  9. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
  10. Justin De Fratus, RHP

Click here for the full report.

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