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The Phillies want Domonic Brown to play another year of Triple-A ball

Oct 12, 2011, 9:30 AM EDT

Phillies Brown drops his bat and helmet at the plate after striking out in their MLB National League baseball game in Washington Reuters

From hope-for-the-future to organizational guy?  Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said Tuesday that he’d like outfielder Domonic Brown to spend another full season at Triple-A.

Brown certainly hasn’t busted out in his 280 major league plate appearances, but man, he’s 24 now and he has never truly been given the chance to have a big league job for anything close to an extended period of time. No, I suppose you can’t just let a kid learn on the job when you’re a playoff contender, but it sure seems like a seventh minor league season for Brown would be something of a waste.

If the Phillies see him as part of their future, he needs to be given a job and a chance to sink or swim.  If they don’t see him in their future plans, any more minor league time would take whatever shine there is left on his prospect status and would hurt his trade value.

  1. Francisco (FC) - Oct 12, 2011 at 9:36 AM

    I think that if they hadn’t mismanaged his development in 2010, he would have been a regular by 2011. Also with the switch to LF means he has to work on his defense. Part of the issue is that Brown didn’t exaclty shine when he was given the new mission to learn LF in the minors and hit poorly. It seems like he regressed. There’s plenty of people involved to hold accountable for the current state of affairs, between RAJ, Charlie and Brown. But I think it all started when they brought him up in ’10 and left him to rot on the bench instead of continuing his playing time in AAA in the late summer months.

    • deathmonkey41 - Oct 12, 2011 at 10:24 AM

      I blame the Russians.

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 12, 2011 at 11:23 AM

      RAJ, Charlie and Brown.

      Wait! How could I have missed this? There’s the problem right there. Charlie. Brown. Baseball. That combination never ends well!

  2. Francisco (FC) - Oct 12, 2011 at 9:39 AM

    That said, he will likely be given the opportunity in ST to start 2012 with the team. With Howard out of the picture for at least half a season, the Phillies may decide to stick Mayberry at 1B for the time-being. Lots of intangibles and it all depends on what the ninja does in the off-season.

    • paperlions - Oct 12, 2011 at 11:03 AM

      I’m confused….how is the GM explicitly stating that he wants Brown to spend another FULL year in the minors consistent with any chance whatsoever to win a job in spring training?

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 12, 2011 at 11:21 AM

        Because the GM is allowed to change his mind at any point. What he wants and what happens aren’t necessarily the same thing.

      • paperlions - Oct 12, 2011 at 11:49 AM

        That doesn’t make any sense within this context….why say anything so pointed publicly? He essentially announced “no matter what, Brown is spending an entire year in the minors, so don’t ask me about it”. He could have just kept his thoughts to himself and decided to wait to make a decision…but he didn’t, he announced that the decision has been made and has a built in “we already decided this” answer to any question about Brown in 2012….again, if he was open to changing his mind, this comment makes zero sense…then it is a very dumb thing to say.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 12, 2011 at 11:56 AM

        GM saying dumb things? That NEVER happens :D Seriously though, it all depends on what happens in the off-season. If he finds that he can’t get adequate FA signings within his spending budget he may publicly change his stance on D-Brown.

        Remember this is a guy who said in 2010. “No major trades.” Boom Oswalt happened. In the 2010 offseason. “No major signings.” Boom Lee happened. In 2011 Spring. “No major trades this deadline”. Boom, Pence happened.

        This guys routinely says one thing and then ends up doing another. Why should Brown be any different?

  3. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 12, 2011 at 9:41 AM

    Damn right Craig, let the kid play. I would like to see what he can do over the course of a season. He cannot be any worse than Raul Ibanez was this year. I think this is about his poor defensive play, I really do. It is embarrassingly bad at points, but the Phillies need to cheap talent. Period. Any other corner outfielder on the market is no great shakes defensively either. Just roll with the kid. I get tired of the Phillies doing this. Utley didn’t get a full time gig until he was 26 despite whomping on AAA pitching. Likewise Howard. Let the kids play.

  4. kvanhorn87 - Oct 12, 2011 at 9:43 AM

    This is half motivation and half trying to break his diva attitude. I don’t see any way that he spends another game in triple a. Contract wise they need cheap young players in the starting lineup with upside. They can not afford him not to be in the lineup. Sometimes not being local helps and other times not. Nationally this would be a story. Locally the writers will make it a story as a favor to Ruben amaro to get his point out there for Brown to hear.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 12, 2011 at 9:44 AM

      Ruben said this in his press conference the other day for all to hear. Didn’t need any writers to make it a story, Ruben made it a story himself.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 12, 2011 at 9:50 AM

        Ruben dished out a LOT that day. Even Charlie felt the tremors.

    • phillyphreak - Oct 12, 2011 at 9:46 AM

      I don’t think any of us can comment on his “diva attitude” unless we worked closely with him.

      • CJ - Oct 12, 2011 at 10:39 AM

        fair, but there is plenty of non-circumstancial evidence that points to him being at the very least quasi-diva-ish. Winter ball last year and how he handled his demotion this season (contrasted by how Mayberry handled is, you know, the right way) would be enough for conviction in the court of public opinion, especially in this town. And rightfully so IMO.

      • paperlions - Oct 12, 2011 at 11:08 AM

        The difference is that Mayberry is an extra guy in the majors….Brown was viewed as a top 5 prospect in all of baseball last year….of course, the guy that is just happy to be there is going to handle being shuttled back and forth better than the guy that is a great prospect that was never given a real chance before being sent back down….throw in the fact that he was better than Ibanez or Francisco at the plate and in the field….and he probably should have been frustrated/pissed off.

      • phillyphreak - Oct 12, 2011 at 11:21 AM

        “..would be enough for conviction in the court of public opinion…”

        – That’s kind of the point though right? It’s a pubic opinion view, not one that people in baseball seem to hold. I’m not sure I’ve read anywhere a person close to Brown say he is a diva. You hear that a lot on sports radio and in blogs.

      • CJ - Oct 12, 2011 at 12:17 PM

        have you ever heard of any organization calling their top prospect a diva? Do you know what that would do to his market value if they did choose to move him.

        You don’t see the Nats calling Harper a diva. Does that automatically make him not a diva?
        Was Manny called a diva by his organization at 26? Milton Bradley perhaps?

        No, no, and no. Be serious.

      • CJ - Oct 12, 2011 at 12:19 PM

        …and it’s not like anyone else close to him is going to call him a diva, either. His agent? Nope.

        His dad? Nope. (See: Rasmus, Colby).

      • phillyphreak - Oct 12, 2011 at 12:54 PM

        So the jump in logic is because no one on the team or close to him called him a diva or said that he had an attitude problem, then it’s up to the general public to portray him as having such a problem, just because he hasn’t met expectations?

        And people in baseball do speak about prospects. When Bryce Harper blew a kiss to the opposing pitcher there was all sorts of talk about him and how he had to control his attitude.

      • CJ - Oct 12, 2011 at 1:03 PM

        If you’ll note above, I never said he was.

        I was pointing out your “jump in logic” so to speak. You’re point was that no one” can comment on his “diva attitude” unless we worked closely with him”. My point was that no one close to him will call him a diva at this stage of his career, period.

        If you took that to mean that, becuase no one will call him a diva, so that must make him one, I apologize as that wasn’t my intent. That would be silly, and basically mean every prospect in baseball would then have to be a diva, which is slightly more ludicrous than that thought that no one can be considered a diva unless and until someone close to them bestows upon them such a description.

      • phillyphreak - Oct 12, 2011 at 1:20 PM

        Then I think there has been a miscommunication between the two of us. My original post was in response to a commenter who labeled Brown a diva. I still say no one can call him a diva or really comment on his attitude unless they work with him. Maybe at this stage no one who works with him would do so, as you point out, but that doesn’t stop Joe Schmoe on WIP (or above) from doing so, which I think is unfair. All indications are that he has a good attitude so I’m happy to buy into that right now.

      • CJ - Oct 12, 2011 at 2:01 PM

        I agree, we’ve misunderstood. There are warning signs though in Brown’s particular case, such as winter ball last season and how he handled his demotion this season.

        In fairness to Brown though, I would consider to be more representative of a sense of entitlement than a diva mentality. And based on how he’s been treated in the organization (yes, including what those “close to him” have said :D ), I don’t see much wrong with that. I wish he didn’t, but if I were in shoes I’d do the same thing if not much worse.

  5. phillyphreak - Oct 12, 2011 at 9:49 AM

    The kid hit 0.261 in AAA but he did have a 0.391 OBP which would put him 9th in the IL in OBP if he qualified (he had 138AB vs. the 143 needed to qualify).

    It’s not like he would be replacing some defensive star in left field.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 12, 2011 at 9:53 AM

      Oh yeah, I agree. Brown would be an offensive upgrade over Ibanez. He might not get as many extra base hits, but he would make up for it by not making as many outs. Ibanez is bad in the field but Brown was worse. Ibanez at least has corner outfield instincts. He just can’t get to balls others can and his arm has faded. Brown frequently takes bizarre routes and is prone to screwing up the play once he gets there. That would be my concern. If he got upgrade to bad defensively from shockingly awful, I think the job would be his.

      • phillyphreak - Oct 12, 2011 at 10:02 AM

        Yea I think his routes need better work but I wonder if the “screwing up the play” stuff are memories of plays where he messed up being ‘more powerful’ than the memories of the plays he made. Regardless, if the defense improves I agree the job should be his.

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 12, 2011 at 9:56 AM

      I believe he was improving quite a bit in July, but was overshadowed by Mayberry. I think he was the Phillies’s most disciplined hitter during that month. He was averaging more than 4 pitches per AB.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 12, 2011 at 9:57 AM

        Agree FC….he sees pitches and works the count. The Phillies need a guy like that.

      • jeffro33 - Oct 12, 2011 at 11:12 AM

        I’m sorry, but as someone who has probably played OF since he was a pre-teen, how is another year of AAA ball going to help Dom change the paths he takes to run down balls?

        I think the bigger issue is his long swing… There needs to be some tinkering there to be able to sustain any kind of success over the long haul… Just like Mayberry opening his stance to cut down on being pounded inside, something needs to be done with that long, looping swing that DB has…

      • badmamainphilliesjamas - Oct 12, 2011 at 2:09 PM

        FWIW, he was a pitcher in HS (and recruited by Miami for football) . . . seems to play the OF like someone who hasn’t played it his whole life.

        Let him play or commit to keeping him in AAA for the whole season. The up-and-back hasn’t helped him.

  6. kvanhorn87 - Oct 12, 2011 at 9:52 AM

    Figuring his attitude for last 2 years is well documented and observed by insiders and plain folk on the streets, I feel fine commenting on it. Ruben set that up. Writers than expound on what stories are out there. If you don’t think RAJ stated that for it to be picked up by writers such as CC, you are naive.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 12, 2011 at 9:54 AM

      I don’t think it matters what media outlets picked up the story. I’m sure Brown heard it said and had been previously told of it. If Brown spends his time worrying about what HBT and the like have to say, then he clearly isn’t ready for the Bigs anyway.

    • phillyphreak - Oct 12, 2011 at 10:09 AM

      I maybe missed it though. What insiders have said he’s a diva and his attitude needs work? Aside from blogs and sports talk, does that thought process exist within the organization?

      From Bill Lyon on June 9, 2011: “The talent is there. The potential is most definitely there. And from all indications, the proper attitude is there,…”

      Is lack of success immediately = bad attitude all of the sudden?

  7. kvanhorn87 - Oct 12, 2011 at 10:00 AM

    I find it hard to believe that DB was sitting around listening to RAJ’s press conference. And it is a little different effect when your boss goes from telling you and then publicly stating same. Now he is forced to believe it is a possibility.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 12, 2011 at 10:08 AM

      And if you don’t think that his agent didn’t hear it or hear of it and immediately call Brown then you are being naive.

  8. nolanwiffle - Oct 12, 2011 at 10:02 AM

    Dude simply needs to find a “slumpbuster”. I’m sure his agent has contacted all the right people.

  9. Jonny 5 - Oct 12, 2011 at 10:02 AM

    Ok, what ev-errrr… Regardless of his talent what does this say going forward? Ibanez gets a one year deal? They pick up a FA LF or 1B to cover Howards spot? Mayberry looks great on his defense and I’d rather see him get the playing time anyway, he’s got less holes in his swing and better “D”.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 12, 2011 at 10:07 AM

      Mayberry will get every opportunity to show he is an everyday player…whether it be at first or in LF. Hell, before the Howard injury RAJ was saying that they wanted Jr. to learn third.

      • Jonny 5 - Oct 12, 2011 at 10:12 AM

        Mayberry will more than likely be playing first from what I gather. Unless Thome comes back to Philly on the cheap to play first. I like that option actually. How about it Dr.?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 12, 2011 at 10:16 AM

        I think Thome would be injured by mid-April if he was asked to play first daily. I think Jr. will be at first base next year. They do have some options though. Utley could play first, Polanco back to his natural position, and a 3B signed, with Jr. in left. Added benefit of being easier on Utley’s knees. Also, re-sign Ibanez on the cheap and have him play a little first base as well. He has done so before. Ultimately though, I think we see Jr. at first and Brown in LF despite what this report says.

      • Jonny 5 - Oct 12, 2011 at 10:27 AM

        Yeah, but they don’t need him to play daily, and don’t don’t need him to play the entire season. Howard comes back And you have Jim Thome as a pinch hitter. YOU HAVE JIM THOME AS A PINCH HITTER. ;)

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 12, 2011 at 10:30 AM

        You make a compelling point Johnny. Problem is, not sure I see Howard coming back next season. I think Thome could contribute at first but can’t be the primary option.

      • Jonny 5 - Oct 12, 2011 at 10:37 AM

        I hope you’re wrong about that Dr.. I know that injury is a devil to get rehabbed from, what do you know about it that I don’t?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 12, 2011 at 12:28 PM

        His size, age, and history of ankle problems. 9 months is a realistic target if all goes well. Anything under that is pure fantasy in my opinion…unless he gets some of those magic stem cells that Bartolo Colon and Kobe Bryant got.

  10. kvanhorn87 - Oct 12, 2011 at 10:07 AM

    They sign Reyes and Pujols. Move Albert to left field when Howard comes back. Sarcasm of course.

    • CJ - Oct 12, 2011 at 10:44 AM

      Of course that’s sarcasm. Pujols would never play left, he’d play third.

  11. chew1985 - Oct 12, 2011 at 10:26 AM

    The Phillies are going to make 100 changes between now and April 1, 2012, but the one they don’t make is what will haunt them starting on opening day. Charlie Manuel has to go…maybe he should be sent to Triple A for a year at least. He is not a motivator or mentor, but apparently he’s a fun guy to hang out with and he just signed a multi-year deal in the spring so he’s here for the duration. The Phillies are going nowhere until Charlie is sent home.

    • halladaysbicep - Oct 12, 2011 at 10:46 AM

      When we are in Hell together, I will personally shove the hot coals in your ass for saying that about Ole’ Cholly…

      • jeffro33 - Oct 12, 2011 at 11:25 AM

        Not sure I agree because the players all would run through a brick wall for him, but I did remember myself going insane a few times when they failed to play smallball…

        When you have this kind of pitching, you have to be able to manufacture runs. I know Cholly hates to give away outs, but he has to sell out on that to get a runner into scoring position.

        This has hurt the Phils in the last two postseasons…

  12. kvanhorn87 - Oct 12, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    Do you not agree that the GM going public carried more weight than if it was told to him privately?

    Imagine your boss says that you are not performing and you need additional training privately. Maybe constructive criticism. Now imagine that He called the PR dept and/or all employees together and announced that you are not
    Living up to your expectations. A bit different, huh? WWW has made it simple to get feeds of press conferences. That does not assure (though extremely likely) the quote made it to DB or that his agent was sitting around contemplating the failure of his client and team or hanging on RAJ every word. However a newspaper or website quoting and expounding on it, is just another way to
    Make sure it makes it to those who need
    To hear it.

  13. halladaysbicep - Oct 12, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    Let him play. He is going to be the single greatest player to ever put on a uniform.
    He is a Philly after all.

  14. Jeremiah Graves - Oct 12, 2011 at 10:39 AM

    Denard Span to Philly for Domonic Brown…let’s do this. Let’s do it quickly.

  15. Ray Rothfeldt - Oct 12, 2011 at 11:02 AM

    It’s all A-Rod’s fault

  16. icanspeel - Oct 12, 2011 at 11:59 AM

    Send him to the Padres and they will give him a job like they did Cameron Maybin. Maybin didn’t have an all-star year, but he did make big strides from his previous MLB experience.

  17. philly2boston - Oct 12, 2011 at 6:39 PM

    you can burn a prime cut just as easy as choice. Mayberry gets a nod as Dominic “Prime” Brown stays on the grille.

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