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.
What is there to say about the Philadelphia Phillies?
In doing my usual postgame perusal of the Internet after their 7-2 loss on Wednesday night, I visited Phillies.com to see what kind of "highlights" they could have possibly posted from another crushing defeat at the hands of the Colorado Rockies.
Thankfully, the first thing that caught my eye was a video titled, "Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby."
It was not Larry Andersen in the Phanatic's arms. Nor me.
And that's the Phillies season in a nutshell.
"You gotta question the parenting skills here," John Kruk said on the telecast. And he's right! What kind of parent would raise their kid to be a Philly sports fan?!?
The Phillies now have the worst record in all of baseball. They're 4-20 in their last 24 games. It's their worst start to a season since 1960.
Even the Phanatic doesn't have enough popcorn to mask all the pain.
If you want to read about the upbeat approach Pete Mackanin is taking, go give this a gander.
"In a long season, these things sometimes happen," Mackanin told reporters. "I remember Atlanta, the first half last year, was terrible. They had a real good second half. I believe we just need to get something going. We're going to put something together. I believe that."
That makes one of us.
The future of Villanova basketball just got brighter.
Brandon Slater, a 6-foot-6 wing and highly touted 2018 recruit, told Scout.com on Wednesday night that he has verbally committed to the Wildcats.
He later made the announcement on Twitter.
Among the 2018 recruiting class, Slater, a product of Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, Virginia, is ranked in the top 30 by Scout.com and top 50 by ESPN.com. He's slated as a four-star talent by both media outlets.
Per ESPN, Slater had offers from Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Syracuse, USC and Virginia Tech. He is Villanova's first commitment for 2018.
"Going up there it just feels like a second home," Slater said, via Evan Daniels of Scout.com. "It gives me a good vibe. It's nothing like all the other schools. I just feel like a Villanova guy. It feels like PVI. It's already home."
Slater and Villanova head coach Jay Wright expressed their excitement on Twitter.