December 1 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“It’s difficult to tell whether there is more pressure on Domonic Brown or Ruben Amaro Jr. this off-season.
Brown, the 23-year-old, five-tool outfielder, is on the verge of becoming the Phillies‘ starting rightfielder, thanks to the free-agent journey that is likely to take Jayson Werth into a new city and uniform.
Amaro, of course, is the general manager who must be willing to let that happen.
Before we move forward with that premise, let’s flash back to Amaro’s postmortem news conference after the Phillies were eliminated from the National League Championship Series by the eventual World Series champion San Francisco Giants.
This is what Amaro said about Brown that day: “We have not given the job to Domonic Brown, and he has been told that – flat out. He’s going to have to earn a spot on our club next year. He is going to winter ball. He has been promised an opportunity that he will get a chance to play, but he is going to have to earn it.”
So far, it’s impossible to say that Brown has earned the job.
Playing right field for Escogido in the highly competitive Dominican Winter League, Brown batted .043 (1 for 23) with one double and two RBIs in his first seven games.
“It’s hard to start evaluating a guy until he has 50 or so at-bats,” Amaro said Tuesday. “Players have to start getting into a rhythm. Chase [Utley] and Ryan [Howard] went through it after being on the disabled list.”
Brown was called up to the Phillies on July 28 after Shane Victorino landed on the disabled list and started nine of 11 games. After Aug. 11, however, Brown made just four starts for the remainder of the season, so it’s understandable if he’s rusty.
Amaro understands that sometimes teams can become impatient with players, because the Dominican Winter League is not in place to develop major-league hopefuls.
“I remember going down to the Dominican my last year in professional baseball in 1998, and I think I struck out 10 times in my first 12 at-bats,” the GM said. “I hadn’t played in two weeks, and they wanted immediate results.””
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