The Phillies like Domonic Brown’s potentail so much that they kept him off the table in yet another round of trade deadline dealing. They liked him so much they wouldn’t trade him for Hunter Pence or even Roy Halladay, but now it seems they don’t like him enough to actually keep him on the team.
After finalizing the blockbuster trade for Pence, the Phillies have decided to demote Brown back down to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
It’s not a total surprise, as Pence immediately becomes a fixture in right field and as loyal as Charlie is it never really seemed likely that he would put Raul Ibanez on the bench. With Brown getting daily at bats in the minors the hope will have to be that he continues to develop while the big club marches toward the playoffs and World Series.
In 54 games so far this season, Brown is hitting just .246 with five home runs and 19 RBI. And while those numbers aren’t that great he’s been improving. That said, it’s been Brown’s defense that has been truly atrocious. While he does have a cannon for an arm his throws are so inaccurate you’d think Brown was the love child of Steve Blass and Rick Ankiel. He also seems to take poor angles to the ball and makes poor decisions on how to best position himself to make a play. And sometimes he just flops around and looks ridiculous.
All of that is curable with a little effort, coaching, and experience. The challenge will be for him to do all that while also trying to learn to play left field, where he’ll play starting today. The good news is that if he can’t completely correct some of his defensive foibles it will have less of an impact playing in left as opposed to the more important right. And with Ibanez gone after this season this is Brown’s chance to stake his name to the left field job for the next decade.
It’s also always possibly that Brown will be called up right before the September deadline for adding him to the postseason roster. It’ll obviously depend on how he looks playing every day for the Ironpigs.
One good thing for Brown is that while he’s being shuffled off the roster to make room Pence, the number 9 will stay with him. Pence is scheduled to hit fifth in the lineup tonight against the Pirates and plans on wearing number 3.
The Phillies also demoted pitcher Drew Carpenter to make room for the returning Placido Polanco who was just activated from the 15-day disabled list. Polanco has been out dealing with back issues that were bad enough that he received a pain-killing shot last week to help things along. The Phillies third baseman says he now feels good and will hit in the seventh spot tonight against Pittsburgh.
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