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Unless the Phillies Acquire Someone, Domonic Brown Should Play


After trading away incumbent right fielder Marlon Byrd, Phillies GM said that Domonic Brown will likely get a shot in right field in 2015.   This was not welcome news for some Phillies fans, who tired of the Domonic Brown that they watched play the latter part of 2013 and all of 2014.  But, for a team that is rebuilding like the Phillies, the best thing that they can do provided the roster stays the same is give Brown playing time in right field.

The Phillies current outfield mix is Grady Sizemore, Ben Revere, Brown, Darin Ruf, and those with an outside shot such as Rule 5 pick from the Texas Rangers Odubel Herrera and Jeff Francoeur, in camp on a minor-league contract.   The likely starters in that situation would be Revere, Brown, and probably Sizemore platooning with Ruf or Francoeur.   Francouer will have to prove he deserves a shot, and Herrera could stick around as a bench player who does not play much while the Phillies build assets for later.   Building for later is why Brown should play.

The Phillies have some assets to trade, including starting pitcher Cole Hamels, and hopefully Cliff Lee should he rebound appropriately from injury.  For the Phillies to cut Brown now, they get nothing out of the deal.  If Brown rebounds with a strong season, they could stand to get some value in the deal.  

One way to show Brown's value is to let him use his best defensive asset in right field: his arm.  Right fielders tend to be those who have the best arm in a team's outfield, and Brown certainly has the best of the Phillies mix.  While his routes to fly balls may not be the best, the Phillies could benefit from that arm throwing out potential scoring runners.

There would be teams willing to take a shot at Brown in 2015, should he be outright cut, hoping that Brown rebounds into something closer to the early 2013 form he showed than the 2014 form.  The team that does that might as well be the Phillies.   As long as he is not blocking someone else from getting playing time (something that could happen with a Cole Hamels trade) then Brown should play.


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