By Barry Jeffrey Jr.:
Every now and again I will post an article like this on a few potential players that one of the Philly teams could or should (in my own opinion) target as an acquisition. The first of these will be in this article today and of course deals with the Phillies. What can I say? I am a baseball guy first and foremost.
The Phillies have a few question marks on the team. Among those positions of question are the bullpen, bench, rightfield, right handed power bat, and speed off the bench.
Today we will be looking at the right handed bat/rightfield issue. Domonic Brown should be the starting rightfielder and the person who is taking over for the now departed Jayson Werth. However there are still some questions about the young outfielder after his showing last season during his call up to the majors when Shane Victorino was injured. Striking out at an alarming rate and only hitting at a .211 clip put some luster on the shine of the rising star for some. Some people have even gone so far as to already label him a bust. Naturally the sanity of those people is openly questioned by anyone with even a remote knowledge of the game. The sample size was hardly enough to consider Brown a bust already. The potential of him is just too much for the results we all saw last year.
People need to keep in mind he was called up and at the time the Phillies were a bit reluctant to call him up because they were unsure if he had enough time at AAA and they were not sure he would get enough at bats to remain sharp. They also need to keep in mind the fact that when Victorino was brought off the disabled list Brown was forced to the bench and played very sparingly and later he also suffered a leg injury which hampered him. Brown’s abysmal winter ball season was also pointed to by some using the bust label. He really did have a horrid time but also keep in mind he started late in winter ball because of that leg injury and I am well sure there was some rust on him.
The main question with Brown is he really ready. Some members of the Phillies staff have questions on this point. Even General Manager Ruben Amaro has hinted at times that Brown may need to start in AAA. Spring training will tell, if Brown does have a great spring training, the job is his to lose. The main drawback with this is that an already left-handed heavy line up will become even more left-handed.
In the event Brown is not ready, the question of rightfield becomes huge. The in house candidates are well known. Ben Francisco, John Mayberry Jr., and Ross Gload are the guys on the roster who would get a shot. Add in minor league signees Jeff Larish and Brandon Moss to the list of potential replacements. It’s a less than inspiring line up to many people after the production the Phillies received out of Jayson Werth. I will discuss these internal candidates down the line, right now I want to come to an external candidate. With most of the really effective free agents signed to contracts the cupboard is pretty bare. Most of the outfielders who are still out there for signing are lefties like Scott Podsednik, an aged switch hitting Gary Mathews Jr., or an old and expensive right hander in Jermaine Dye who has defensive issues and has not played in over a year and wants top dollar still. So to improve the club, it would have to come via a trade.
Barry Jeffrey Jr. writes “The Crow’s Nest” column for PSC.
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