“When the Phillies brought Domonic Brown to the majors on July 28, the top prospect arrived with great expectations, not temporary ones. Charlie Manuel said he would ease Brown into the regular lineup with hopes of helping his development into an everyday player, a role Brown will likely fill in 2011.
But in 2010, the Phillies still have three outfielders they are paying a combined $23.5 million this season. So when Shane Victorino (left abdominal strain) returns to the Phillies, probably Friday, there is a decent chance Brown heads back to the minors.
Charlie Manuel said he has yet to discuss with team officials what the team will do upon Victorino’s return. But on Tuesday he laid out a decent case for returning Brown to the minors.
Victorino was 1 for 2 in his first rehab game at triple A on Tuesday and played five innings as scheduled. He will play in two more games with the hope of being activated Friday.
Manuel said he wasn’t in favor of a four-man rotating outfield when Victorino comes back.
“The only problem with that,” the manager said, “the people we signed, we pay them money and they’re our regular players. That’s like saying because a guy gets hurt he loses his job. I don’t think that happens in baseball very much.”
Brown has shown flashes of brilliance in his first nine games as a major leaguer. But the signs of inexperience have stood out: Entering Tuesday, Brown had 11 strikeouts in 31 at-bats and had yet to draw a walk. He had one extra-base hit with six RBIs.
In the field, Brown has shown off his impressive throwing arm but also his raw defensive skills by taking incorrect paths to balls.
“He’s still in his development,” Manuel said. “He definitely has to play. The more he plays, the quicker you’ll be able to turn him loose at the major-league level. Those are things we have to consider.””
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