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Send Down Brown? 'Not at this Stage', Says Ruben...


We have all heard about the potential before. We have all heard about his breakout month of May last season (keywords: last season). We have all heard about his awful performance at this season. With all things considered, Phillies management has to be thinking of a way to instill some confidence and fire back into Domonic Brown's offense and overall play. With Darin Ruf on the bench ready to go, the Phillies continue to put Brown out there as his average continues to fall. After hitting his first homer of the year on Tuesday, Ruf did not see time in the starting lineup during Wednesday's game or last night. Instead, we saw Brown in there, who after an 0-for-3 night has an average at .200. Ryne Sandberg's explanation for inserting Brown continually?  (via Philadelphia Daily News)

"Those are opportunities for that player, chances for that player and a vote of confidence from me," Sandberg said a day earlier. "It shows I have confidence in them to get it going."

"I know that he's trying. I don't know if he's trying too hard or overtrying, it seems like when he hit balls hard, he gets nothing to show for it. Maybe it's a combination of getting a hit or two in a couple games to get his confidence going the other way."

I do understand giving a player every opportunity to succeed if they have shown they can produce, but how is consistently putting Brown in the lineup helping anyone? Again, I am not saying Darin Ruf is the savior, but right now, Dom needs to get his head straight and start hitting like we know he can. It gets to a point where you ask, "If he isn't succeeding and showing little signs of improvement, why isn't a player of his caliber sent down to the minors to work on his game?". Seems like it would be something that would help him and would also help the team. Brown may need some time out of the big-league spotlight to focus primarily on his performance rather than the team's. Although it is a great option, it doesn't seem likely. At least not yet.

While most agree that a trip to the minors may be for the best, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro says the Phillies aren't at that point. (via Philadelphia Daily News). 

"Not at this stage," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told the Daily News when asked if sending Brown down as an option. "We have to get Dom right here before we start thinking about that stuff."

"Dom's got to keep playing. He's got to keep getting opportunities to play . . . We have to have him get back to swinging the way he can."

We have to get Dom right here before....okay, Ruben. You make no sense. Isn't the whole point of a demotion for a player to get themselves right? Major League Baseball is not a stage for players to get themselves right. How can you get him back to swinging the way he can? By getting him back to the basics in Triple-A.

Let's get back to Domonic. In 2013, he started off slow as well (not .200 slow). In April, he was hitting just above .250 before his bat exploded for his monstrous month of May, which may be what we are all judging him on right now. How can we not? He hit .303 with 12 homers and 25 RBI's and earned himself a spot on the NL All-Star team. After May, his average jumped up and down for the rest of the year. In June, he hit .278. In July, Dom hit .257 and in August, he hit .292. In September, he hit .255. There's no denying he has had some good months, but he had some mediocre ones too. He struck out 97 times in 2013. Thus far in 2014, he has 35 K's, so unless things turn around he will break that mark.

Taking a closer look at 2014, Dom has struck out two or more times in six games this year and he has found himself to be the least-productive outfielder in the National League. Dom's OPS is ranked 51st out of qualifying outfielders, including rightfielders and centerfielders. He has the fewest extra-base hits among leftfielders with 10. Brown's .564 OPS and .262 OBP also ranks 17th out of 18 major league outfielders with at least 175 plate appearances. 

The next few weeks may show us the fate of Brown. Obviously, it seems like he will continue to see regular playing time until Ruben Amaro sees fit. You have to imagine if his woes carry on, Ryne Sandberg's patience will be running on a short leash.

The Fans Have Spoken - In Friday's Roadshow poll question on WIP, 97% of voters wanted to see Darin Ruf over Domonic Brown in left.

Brandon Apter, Publishing Editor for Philliedelphia. Follow him on Twitter @ApterShock



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