What Philly Is Overreacting To: Domonic Brown's Spring

What Philly Is Overreacting To: Domonic Brown's Spring

Presented without explanation, our new feature: What Philly Is Overreacting To.

The graphic says it all. Domonic Brown sucks.

0 for 12? I had a streak like that—in little leauge, once. Well... 0 for 12 was probably normal actually. I think I was scared of the ball then. Dom Brown must be scared of the ball, too.

That's it! He's scared of the ball. It makes so much sense. How else do you explain the 21 consecutive recorded at bats dating all the way back to September 28 since Brown has registered a base hit in a Major League Baseball gamebook? Amazing he could make it to the show with such a glaring hole in his game.

Or, it's spring training, and the young man is working on his swing. What statistics can you recite, let alone find, from prior seasons' exhibition games? Any? C'mon, that time you were in Clearwater and Ryan Howard went 3 for 4 with a couple of moonshots is pretty remote, and doesn't count.

Look, these are the only relevant numbers so far.

73 plate appearances. Between regular season and playoffs, Brown has officially stepped in the batter's box a total of 73 times. Now I don't watch as much SportsCenter as I used to, but I can't remember the last time they posted a graphic detailing the best players in history through their first 73 at bats.

To put 73 plate appearances in perspective, it ranked 17th on the Phillies in 2010, even behind pitchers Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels. Jayson Werth stood at the dish nearly 10 times that amount last season alone. Oh yeah, and Mr. Rock Star didn't hit his first career dinger until plate appearance number 70; Brown's already got two. Smoked.

Fourth on Baseball America's prospect list. This isn't just any kid Phillies fans are pinning their hopes and dreams on. Brown is legitimately one of the top young players in baseball. Just ask these people.

Obviously, Dom is on there for a reason. Maybe it's because he has excelled and then some at every level in the minor leagues, culminating with his participation in last year's All-Star Futures game. Maybe it's because he's a five-tool outfielder with so much raw athletic ability, he honestly could have played wide receiver for the Miami Hurricanes.

Regardless, Brown worked his way up that list. It's not a draft board, nor an entirely inconsequential rating. People in the know believe he's gonna be good.

Ben Francisco. That's not a number, you say? It's not always about Domonic Brown, ya know.

Because while Dom hacks away and learns the tools of the trade, Francisco is having the best spring of any Phillies hitter so far. If these games have anything to do with who will be in right field come April 1, there is no debate his .308 batting average and club-high five RBI's make Benny Fresh the early leader.

Ben Francisco can start in right field on Opening Day, and that's okay. It would arguably say more about the way he's getting it done at the plate.

Domonic Brown will play a major role on the Phillies in 2011 though, and likely beyond. He has outrageous physical talent, but he's only 23-years-old. Obviously he has a few things to work on, but there is plenty of baseball ahead. Talk to me when the struggles last into the summer.

Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny stick around as Flyers send 10 to Phantoms

Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny stick around as Flyers send 10 to Phantoms

Travis Sanheim, Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny are still alive.

The Flyers reduced their roster to 39 players on Thursday, assigning 10 players to the Phantoms for their separate training camp, which opens on Friday in Lehigh Valley.

There were no major surprises among today’s cuts.

Goaltenders Anthony Stolarz and Alex Lyon, both of whom were outstanding during exhibition play, report to the Phantoms as the No. 1 and No. 2 candidates in net.

Stolarz had a 1.36 goals against average and .944 save percentage in 88 minutes of game action. Lyon had a 0.67 GAA and .972 save percentage in 90 minutes of playing time.

Together, they teamed up for the 2-0 victory on Wednesday against the Devils (see 10 observations).

Also assigned were defenseman Robert Hagg and Reece Wilcox, plus forwards Radel Fazleev, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Tyrell Goulbourne, Corban Knight, Danick Martel and Mark Zengerle.

After four games in three nights, the entire camp roster had a complete off-day on Thursday.

Sanheim and Provorov have stood out on defense with the latter virtually certain to make the team.

Konecny was very impressive in exhibition play on Wednesday (see story), and will be given a long leash in camp because of the competition at forward.

Both he and Provorov are just 19 and can only go back to junior if they don’t make the final cut with the Flyers.

Schultz injury
Wednesday’s announcement that veteran defenseman Nick Schultz would miss 4-7 days with a lower body injury — a minor MCL sprain of the knee, according to sources — means extra opportunity for several younger defensemen.

Remember, Radko Gudas still is not 100 percent, but getting close to it with his right wrist (fracture). The two benefactors here could be Sanheim and Sam Morin. Provorov was going to be around until the very end, anyway.

The Flyers have four preseason games remaining. Schultz is expected to return for at least one of the final two games.

Inside Golf
The weekly 30-minute segment will feature the Flyers Celebrity Golf Tournament and the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation when it airs on CSN on Sunday, Oct. 2 at 10 a.m.

Harry Donahue visited Trump National Golf Course in Pine Hill, NJ earlier this month to catch up with the Flyers. Others on hand are Mark Messier and ESYHF President Scott Tharp, plus Snider Hockey Chairman of the Board Bill Whitmore to learn about Snider Hockey.

The event raised over $1.6 million. You can catch the broadcast on CSN on Oct. 3 and Oct. 5 at 4 p.m. It will also air on TCN on Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 3 at 5 p.m.

Nerlens Noel thinks he and Ben Simmons can be a lockdown defensive duo

Nerlens Noel thinks he and Ben Simmons can be a lockdown defensive duo

GALLOWAY, N.J. — The Sixers' abundance of big men lends itself to numerous combinations in the frontcourt.

On Thursday, Nerlens Noel had his first experience playing with Ben Simmons. The center gelled with the rookie forward.

"It's a great duo, I think," Noel said following the morning practice session of training camp at Stockton University.

Noel has been paired with many big men during his career with the Sixers. Last season, he faced the challenge of playing out of position at times with Jahlil Okafor. The logjam prompted him to speak out about the current makeup of the roster (see story).

After playing with Simmons, Noel saw how the two can share the court.

"I think we complement each other very well, especially on the defensive end," Noel said. "He's definitely a lockdown type defender that digs in."

Even though Simmons has yet to play an NBA game, Noel already envisions how he can help the Sixers.

"He just plays basketball the right way," Noel said. "When your big man does that, it makes it a lot easier because he is very versatile being a point-forward type. That opens up a lot of things for him to be able to open up for his teammates."