Results tagged ‘ Domonic Brown ’

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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Brown Going Back to What Got Him Here

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Domonic Brown made a significant change before he broke his right hand fouling off a pitch Saturday.

He returned his hands to where they were when he crushed pitching in the Minor Leagues.

Brown had fiddled with the positioning of his hands in his stance since Spring Training started last month. He had held them high in the past, but lowered them this spring because the Phillies felt it would shorten his swing and allow him to better handle certain pitches. But Brown never felt comfortable and the positioning changed game to game, occasionally at-bat to at-bat. He went hitless with nine strikeouts in his first 15 Grapefruit League at-bats before singling up the middle Saturday.

“I just said, ‘Forget it. I’m going back to what got me here,'” Brown said this morning at Bright House Field. “That’s the key for me. The other thing did not work with the hands down. That’s going to take time, and I really don’t have time to spare like that, especially coming from Winter Ball. I didn’t have enough time to prepare myself with the lower hand angle.”

Brown had surgery on his hand Tuesday. He could be back in four to six weeks.

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No Word on Utley

The silence is deafening.

Chase Utley received a cortisone injection into his right knee Friday for his patellar tendinitis. So far the Phillies and Utley have said nothing about the shot’s effectiveness — still hoping for an update later today — although the Phillies initially said they should know something before the end of last weekend. They adjusted that timetable Sunday, when they said they should know something by Monday or Tuesday.

So how much has the shot helped?

“I’ve got nothing new for you guys,” Utley said as he walked off the field following batting practice this morning at Bright House Field. “When I do, I’ll let you know.”

Ruben Amaro Jr. was unavailable to comment in the morning. Head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan provided an update on Domonic Brown‘s hand surgery, but did not field questions on Utley’s knee.

Utley took batting practice as normal today, but remains unable to run or take fielding practice. He has missed the team’s first 12 Grapefruit League games, and there are no indications he is close to playing anytime soon.

As soon as I hear something on Utley’s condition I will let you know.

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Utley, Brown (Not Really) News

utley reporters.jpg

Ruben Amaro Jr. had nothing to report today about Chase Utley‘s right knee.

Hopefully we’ll learn something tomorrow.

Utley had a cortisone shot Friday. The shot can take a few days to work. If the shot does not work, I’m not sure what happens next, but it certainly would not be good news. Talked to a few teammates today who expressed their concerns about Utley’s health.

“That’s what worries me,” Placido Polanco said. “I was talking to my wife the other day. I said, ‘Man, that guy is a gamer. He’s tough. He’s got to be really hurting to not be playing.’ That’s why I’m a little worried. But I’m not a doctor. I don’t know how bad it is. I just hope it’s nothing bad.”

“Chase is a guy who’s out there every day and wants to play,” Ryan Howard said. “You hope it’s not something that is overly serious. You hope it’s something that goes away, so he come in here and get some work to get ready for the season.”

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Domonic Brown will have surgery tomorrow to repair his broken right hand. Recovery is expected to be four to six weeks.

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