Monday, July 7, 2014

Philadelphia Baseball Review Mailbag: Brown, Sandberg and Reid

By PATRICK GORDON | Managing Editor
July 7 2014, 8:00PM EDT.
@Philabaseball

I've been receiving a constant barrage of questions related to the Phillies and the upcoming trade deadline, so I've taken some of the best questions and answered them below.

Q: Why is Domonic Brown still our everyday left fielder? He can't hit and his fielding skill is non-existent. To be honest, he's terrible.

Domonic BrownA: You are correct in everything you said regarding Brown, he has been difficult to watch and his WAR is an abysmal -1.7. That said, the Phillies don't have many options and are vested heavily in Brown (remember how they refused to deal him prior to his arrival in the big leagues?), hoping the glimpses he offered of a potent bat last year were not a fluke. Scouts often believe you have a complete picture of a player once they reach 1,500 plate appearances - Brown has 1,351.  With the Phillies out of contention, Brown needs to remain in the lineup and continue auditioning for a spot in 2015. I have a hunch someone else will be the starting left fielder come Opening Day next season.

Q: Sandberg seems too quiet and just has the same expression all the time. He reminds me of Andy Reid. Please tell me we don't have another Andy Reid in Philadelphia. How much blame should he be getting for this travesty of a team?

A: The losing isn't on Sandberg, these are just the cards he's been dealt and he's been okay from a strategical standpoint. He doesn't show much emotion when dealing with us writers, nor does he seem to be too emphatic in the dugout during games, but none of those things are necessarily negative. I think the comparison to Reid makes sense, but only in how even-keeled he seems from what we can see. Unlike Reid he's not pompous or short on words, he just does not come off as a manager to get in faces, scream and publicly say anything somewhat negative about his players.  

Q: Who do you see the Phillies moving at the deadline?

A: I think Marlon Byrd and Jonathan Papelbon are the leading candidates now to be moved. Both are putting together decent years and can help a contending team right now. The Phillies will have to eat some money with Papelbon, but it's something that has to be done. After those two, I see Kyle Kendrick, Antonio Bastardo and perhaps even Ben Revere as potential pieces to be moved. Cliff Lee is an interesting case because he's dealing with the elbow strain, though he's likely back right after the All-Star break. I think the Phillies can hold him and get more in the offseason if they decide to seek a deal - remember, he's signed through 2015 with an option for 2016.  I doubt anything happens with Jimmy Rollins or Chase Utley.

Q: If Papelbon is moved, do you see Ken Giles getting some save opportunities?

A: Giles has the stuff to close, but something tells me Jake Diekman gets the closer spot first. He has more experience at the major league level and the Phillies want to be careful with Giles as he's still maturing and just 23-years-old. If Giles pitches in another 20 or so games and continues throwing lights out, he has a legitimate shot to open 2015 as the favorite for the closer role.  

Q: The Phillies outfield is terrible and now there is talk of moving Marlon Byrd. If they do, is it safe to say the Phillies outfield will be the worst in baseball?

A: I could sit here and throw OPS+ and WAR out along with a bunch of other numbers, but I'm not going to do that and waste time. Yes, the Phillies outfield will be the worst in baseball if they move Byrd, shift the outfield and put John Mayberry Jr. or Darin Ruf out as a replacement.

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