Domonic Brown bears the closest semblance to competence at the plate on the Phillies. So yeah, with injuries to Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz leaving the lineup in indefinite flux, it’s at least worth considering bumping Brown closer to the top of the order to snag him a few more at-bats, right?
Maybe not. Said Charlie Manuel last night [Todd Zolecki at Phillies.com]:
"I kind of like where he's at. I won't say I won't move anyone up. But I like what he's doing."
Still, Brown’s tear is impressive no matter the standards, and that justifies more opportunities. With his two-run shot last night, only Miguel Cabrera (10), Carlos Gonzalez and Mike Trout (8) have more homers than Brown (7) this month.
More impetus for change: only 2 of the team's last 26 home runs and three of Brown's 10 this year have plated multiple runs. Even if their flimsy .301 team on-base percentage makes life tough, they need to cushion that blow by hitting their top slugger higher than sixth, where Brown’s taken 150 of 178 at-bats this year.
The Phillies best chance at changing that, and maybe chasing .500? Promoting Brown.
It works on paper. Some lineup possibilities, given Howard’s finicky knee and top-to-bottom production that demands deploying a throw-stuff-at-a-board approach until further notice:
- vs. RHP: Rollins SS, Young 3B, Brown LF, Howard 1B, Nix/D. Young RF, Kratz C, Galvis 2B, Revere CF
You could also jump Galvis to No. 2 and slide Brown to No. 5 against righties.
- vs. LHP: Rollins SS, Frandsen 1B, M. Young 3B, Brown LF, D. Young RF, Mayberry CF, Kratz C, Galvis 2B
The general gist here being to bat Brown as close to Michael Young, Philly's only supposed on-base guy, as possible. And doing whatever possible to keep afloat until Utley and Ruiz get back and keep this season meaningful.