September 20 Philadelphia Daily News:
“Just when the Phillies could use their best minor league players most, neither is available.
As the Phillies enter a crucial stretch run, both Rightfielder of the Future Domonic Brown, 23, and rehabbed reliever Scott Mathieson, 26, are unavailable due to minor injuries. Yesterday, they received Paul Owens awards, given annually to the organization’s top minor league position player and pitcher.
They were honored, but not satisfied.
“It’s really frustrating. Not being able to play, not being able to contribute,” said Brown, the franchise’s most untouchable commodity the past two trade-riddled seasons.
He was untouchable for good reason. In 93 combined games this season at Double A Reading and Triple A Lehigh Valley, Brown hit .327 with 20 home runs 68 RBI and 17 steals.
The Phillies called him up July 28 to replace Shane Victorino, and he has stayed. A strapping 6-5 and 200 pounds, Brown hit .214 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 30 games before he was sidelined Sept. 6 with a sore right thigh. He has not played since, and likely won’t get meaningful at-bats until he plays winter ball in the Dominican Republic. Now, he’s not even available to pinch-hit.
“I don’t know when it’s going to be,” Brown said. “Some days I’ll wake up and it’s feeling really good. The next, it’s a little sore.”
Mathieson knows frustration, and he knows soreness.
He jumped to the majors from Double A in 2006 but since has undergone three surgeries on his right elbow, two of them Tommy John procedures. This season Mathieson carried Lehigh Valley’s bullpen with 26 saves and a 2.80 earned-run average. However, in his relief appearance for the Phillies on Sept. 5, he found himself throwing softer and more erratically than he did in Triple A.
“I finally get a chance to prove that I can pitch up here, and I came up and I was throwing 90, 93. And I hadn’t thrown under 96 this season. I was, like, ‘What’s going on?’ “ Mathieson said.
A couple of hours later he knew.
He felt pain opening his car door in the players’ garage. He could barely raise his arm when he got home. The news was better than usual: He just had a strained back muscle, a lesser version of an injury that sidelined Ryan Madson and Brett Myers in recent seasons.
It wouldn’t require surgery, but it would, again, keep him out of the Phillies’ plans.”
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