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.
If you watched Monday night's Phillies loss at the hands of the Colorado Rockies, you probably weren't very entertained -- unless you're a Rockies fan.
But if you followed the game on Twitter and happen to follow the Rockies' account, you may have been slightly more entertained.
They tried something we haven't seen from an opposing team just yet. They tweeted throughout the game using only quotes from the Rocky movie franchise.
Now, you can debate how successful of a move this was but you have to at least give them some points for creativity. And it's not like this was a playoff game with high stakes. This was a relatively boring Monday night game in the middle of May.
You can read our recap of the Phillies' 8-1 loss right here. Or here's how the night transpired on Twitter:
All week on Philly Sports Talk on CSN, we examine how our teams got to this point and where they are in the rebuilding process.
On Tuesday, Sixers Insider Jessica Camerato takes a look at the state of the Sixers.
How did we get here?
By now, you all know about “The Process.” The Sixers last competitive season was five years ago when they reached the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2012. They began dismantling that group, and the following year, went 34-48 under Doug Collins.
The Sixers then entered a three-year period of dismal basketball with a revolving door of players coached by Brett Brown that culminated in a 47-199 record. During that time, they stockpiled injured players, draft-and-stash prospects and a handful of future picks through transactions made by then-general manager Sam Hinkie.
Hinkie stepped down from his role with a memorable 13-page resignation letter last April. The Sixers hired Bryan Colangelo as president of basketball operations, marking a new chapter in the organization.
The 2016-17 season was the first glimpse into the potential of “The Process.” They finished 28-54, including a 10-5 month of January. Joel Embiid made his NBA debut after two years. While he was limited to 31 games because of (another) injury, he quickly proved he can dominate when healthy. Dario Saric came to the NBA two years after being drafted in 2014 and emerged as a Rookie-of-the-Year candidate after Embiid was shut down for the season. The Sixers landed the number one pick in the 2016 draft and are waiting on the debut of Ben Simmons, who suffered a Jones fracture in training camp. This season, the Sixers established legitimate pieces for their future, rather than players who could be on the summer league team.
Are the Sixers on the right path back to prosperity?
The Sixers are on the right path back to prosperity, and it starts this offseason. They have the third pick in the 2017 draft, with the possibilities of adding another young talent or packaging the pick to land a more established player. The Sixers have flexibility with plenty of cap space — which they could use to acquire a key free agent. The team has maintained they will not rush into making a trade just for the sake of it — Jahlil Okafor’s future with the Sixers is still uncertain — or spending money just because it’s available. The Sixers showed flashes of potential last season. If they gather the right pieces this summer and — a big “and” — they stay healthy, the Sixers will continue to move toward an upward trend of rebuilding with the longer-term goals (this isn't happening overnight) of becoming a contender again.
Coming Wednesday: A look at the Phillies' rebuild