Dec 052010
Phillies RF Domonic Brown

Phillies RF Domonic Brown

December 5:

Philadelphia Phillies news and stories from around the web…

Phillies’ Brown returns from winter ball

December 5 Philadelphia Inquirer:

Domonic Brown’s venture into winter baseball has ended before the start of winter.

The Phillies confirmed Saturday night that Brown is returning home from the Dominican Republic after playing only nine games for Leones del Escogido. The 23-year-old rightfielder batted just .069 (2 for 29) with one double and three RBIs.

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said through a team spokesman that Brown was feeling sluggish and tired, so the Phillies decided he should return home.

Brown was considered the Phillies‘ top prospect last season before joining the team July 28 after Shane Victorino landed on the disabled list. Brown, after batting a combined .327 with 20 home runs and 68 RBIs at double-A Reading and triple-A Lehigh Valley, remained with the Phillies after his promotion and was on the postseason roster.”

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Time for Amaro to make moves

December 5 Philadelphia Inquirer:

“If the Phillies‘ off-season were a chess match, so far we’d have a white pawn to b3 and nothing more. In other words, little of consequence.

That will change in the coming weeks, perhaps as soon as this week at baseball’s winter meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. How significantly the Phillies‘ roster is going to change remains the question that only general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. can answer.

At the moment, Amaro is warning not to expect significant alterations.

“I don’t see a whole lot of craziness surrounding the Phillies,” Amaro said last week. “I don’t know if we have to do a whole lot of things to make the club better. We did have a very good club and it was somewhat underachieving as far as the offense was concerned.”

That’s an interesting take on the situation.

Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Jimmy Rollins, the three homegrown cornerstones of the franchise’s rise to baseball’s elite, all are coming off the least productive seasons of their careers.

In fact, the only player to have a career year last season among the Phillies‘ eight starting position players was catcher Carlos Ruiz.

“Hopefully, they’ll all come back,” Amaro said. “We’ll have to monitor whether this is a case of guys getting older and less productive or if it’s just a blip on the screen.”

Amaro is siding with the blip-on-the-screen theory, which can be risky business in the world of professional sports. On the other hand, with the payroll already at a record $149 million for only 17 players, it’s possible the checkbook is already closing in on checkmate for the GM.”

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Rollins confident that next season will be unlike this last one was with Phillies

December 5 Philadelphia Inquirer:

Jimmy Rollins, wearing a black-knit cap to protect his head from a chilly breeze, flicked the switch that lit the red and white bulbs on the enormous Christmas tree outside Citizens Bank Park Saturday night.

The Phillies, of course, are hoping that come April their shortstop will again be the trigger man for what they still believe can be the most explosive offense in the National League.

Rollins, 32 and entering the final year of his contract with the Phillies, said he has every intention of rebounding from his injury-ravaged 2010 season with a big year in 2011.

“If I’m healthy. Well, I’m going to be healthy, so yes,” Rollins said. “All I have to do is stay healthy and I will produce.”

The three-time all-star and 2007 National League MVP played in a career-low 88 games last season and batted a career-worst .243 with eight home runs and 41 RBIs. He was hampered most by a calf injury, but also suffered a hamstring injury late in the season. Rollins’ injuries and lack of production forced manager Charlie Manuel to move him out of the leadoff spot in the batting order for every game except one in the postseason.

There are a couple of reasons Rollins is confident that 2011 will be different.

“Because I believe in me,” Rollins said. “If I don’t believe in me, then I might as well quit.”

An ultra-confident attitude is certainly nothing new for Rollins, the man who once pronounced the Phillies as the team to beat in the National League East when most everyone else was sure that team was the New York Mets.

Something that is new for Rollins this off-season is his workout.”

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