Photo: Kevin Durso / Philliedelphia
Many of you who came to the site last night caught Jake's excellent article on Domonic Brown and how the Phillies have handled the 24-year-old. And, quite frankly, I didn't want to let too much time pass without offering my take.
On our Facebook page on Monday - Baseball Talk: Philadelphia - one of my articles from my self-run site Phillies Network was shared. In it, I suggested that Cody Ross was the perfect fit for the Phillies. I want to elaborate on that post before making my point today.
Aside from maybe Josh Hamilton - and that's a big maybe - there was no true perfect fit on the market this offseason. And quite frankly, Hamilton may not have even been a fit for the Phillies. Just because someone is the best player on the market hardly makes them a fit for most teams.
I'll be honest. I'm in the minority of Phillies fans by saying I like Cody Ross. Why? Because he's a baseball player. Ross and Michael Young are players like Chase Utley. They play hard, they play with passion and they leave it all on the field. Grit goes a long way in a marathon season.
Additionally, Ross is likable to me because he isn't a Phillie. It's that situation where you always want the players you can't have. I categorize him with the Michael Cuddyers and Josh Willinghams that the Phillies have desired for years but never been able to get.
Before the offseason began - at least before signings started to happen - I had been asked the question quite a bit who I thought the Phillies would sign. Before anything went down, I truly thought the Phillies would sign B.J. Upton for centerfield.
Now think about this. If the Phillies had outbid the Braves and signed Upton at their offer, we might not even be having this current discussion. We might not be talking about the Phillies and their attempts to acquire another outfielder this offseason, especially when you consider the other moves made this offseason were about the best they could do at each position.
If the Phillies had signed Upton, I would be very comfortable going with Upton in center and filling the corners internally. But the Phillies have Ben Revere, not B.J. Upton.
Because Revere is vastly different from Upton or even Michael Bourn, the current players likely won't cut it. However, that isn't to say it isn't worth a shot.
Yesterday on my site I wrote a piece about the possibility that the Phillies are done this offseason, that what you see is what you're going to get.
This is not me changing my tune. I would still like the Phillies to make a wise signing for a corner outfielder only if it's for the right price. What this was more about was my conceding to the possibility that this is the way the 2013 Phillies look.
I wrote it because I did and didn't agree with Ruben Amaro Jr. said at Tuesday's press conference introducing Michael Young. In the same sense, this is where I agree and disagree with what Jake wrote yesterday.
I don't think the Phillies mishandled Domonic Brown early on. The fact that they held onto him through two major trades? Brilliant. The call-up and major-league debut in 2010 was fine, but he was never expected to do anything that season. It was a call-up based on a necessity combined with performance. He was the top minor-leaguer at a time when the Phillies needed to fill a roster spot due to injury. Certainly makes sense. That said, in 2010 I'm glad the Phillies didn't trade Jayson Werth away mid-season just to give the kid a chance then.
2011 was really one of the years to get a look at Brown. Brown should have started 2011 on the roster, but a hand injury derailed that. Once he returned, he should have been getting regular playing time. Instead, he was a late May call-up who got a two-month tryout before the Phillies traded for Hunter Pence.
Most of all, the Phillies did mismanage Brown in 2012. He wasn't called up until the trade deadline and despite playing consistently through August and September, again it was basically a two-month tryout.
Regardless of what the Phillies saw, or if fans think Brown didn't bring anything to the table, his confidence has been altared too much. In what action I saw from Brown last season, I noticed a sizable difference.
Perhaps Brown's problems at the plate don't stem from himself or Charlie Manuel. Maybe having coaches like Ryne Sandberg and Steve Henderson around will make a difference as well.
But Brown has also been brought into trade discussions rather unfairly. Keep in mind the Phillies are trying to trade an MLB-ready, 24-year-old outfielder just weeks after acquiring one. Would it add some experience if the Phillies traded Brown for, say, Alfonso Soriano? Sure. Would it be worth it? Too soon to say.
But the Phillies could enter 2013 with the most inexperienced outfield there is - with the 24-year-old Revere, 24-year-old Brown and 26-year-old Ruf. The key to using that method is simple: play those three everyday. If the Phillies want to use younger players, they need to do so regularly.
If the Phillies stay put, there really isn't reason to question how the outfield would look. John Mayberry Jr. is not a starting outfielder - at least not in Philadelphia. It is an experiment that started in 2009 and hasn't worked out since. And Laynce Nix serves roughly the same purpose.
So, maybe it is time to give the kids a chance. The Phillies infield may be quickly turning into a nursing home, but the outfield could be the much-needed youth movement the team needs.
Kevin Durso is a contributor for Philliedelphia. You can follow him on twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.