Dom Brown will return to the IronPigs tonight in Buffalo on a Major League rehab assignment. He’s been recovering from an Achilles strain since mid-way through Spring Training.
Brown joined the Clearwater Threshers on rehab to start their MiLB campaign. Since then he’s played in 6 games and had 17 at-bats. His slash line is .294/.400/.529 with 1 HR, 7 K, 2 BB including 1/3 with a double in last night’s 3-2 Threshers win. After a “Midnight Run” to Buffalo, it’s unclear whether he will be in the lineup tonight for the ‘Pigs–more likely tomorrow afternoon.
One time, in 2012, I wrote a long piece about what was “wrong” with Domonic Brown. He’s always been a favorite of mine and I’ve always cheered for him. His interactions with my kids and with Noise Nation have always been positive. My theory in the piece was–whatever the problem is, booing was not going to be the solution. Comment responses disagreed. You can read that old piece (written 3/31/2012) here.
There’s been more water under the bridge since then, of course. And, Domonic Brown remains somewhat of an enigma. Will a move back to his optimal position in Right Field this season, coupled with the low expectations for the Phillies as a whole, provide the jump-start to a more consistent and successful Domonic Brown in the future? Will the Phillies include him in a trade package this Summer with the thoughts that a change of scenery will be advantageous? I don’t know.
But, for now, he’s ours again. And I’ll be cheering for him. He was eligible to come off the MLB DL on April 11, but had started his rehab assignment in Clearwater on April 9. With a maximum 20-day assignment, the longest he could be with us would be until Tuesday 4/28: That would be a maximum of six home games at Coca Cola Park. Or, he could be called up any time if he’s ready and/or needed. Finally, if his Achilles is still bothering him, he could return to the DL.
What’s next for the Phillies, then, if Dom is ready? A good question. Here are the candidates to create roster space:
- Grady Sizemore He’s not been playing well. But, he has a guaranteed MLB deal. He didn’t seem happy playing in Allentown last season, but he would possibly accept the assignment (DFA) with the money still due and no one else willing to sign him for similar money.
- Jeff Francoeur He’s done well enough, and they seem to like his leadership as well. I think he’ll stay in Philly.
- Darin Ruf They like his right-handed bat and ability to play 1B or LF in Philly, but he has an option and they could decide to get him some consistent at-bats with the IronPigs for a short time.
- Andres Blanco The Phillies had Cesar Hernandez playing shortstop the other day, and if they liked what they saw, could decide that Blanco is redundant. Blanco would probably pass through waivers and come back through DFA (or outright) I’d think–even freeing up a 40-man spot if they want, similar to Cesar Jimenez recently. Plus, Duran is struggling with the bat at shortstop and I have no idea why Chase d’Arnaud isn’t playing more (2/8 games so far).
- Sean O’Sullivan Depending on where they are in the rotation, and how quickly they expect Chad Billingsley to be ready, they could send Sean back to open a spot for Dom temporarily–likely then a position player move would need to be made to get Billingsley up.
You never know, though. Injuries happen and sometimes things just work their way out. For now, though, looking forward to the next ‘Pigs home-stand starting Thursday against Buffalo.
See you at the park,