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2011 Philadelphia Phillies: What Can Domonic Brown Do for You?

Domonic Brown has been the Phillies’ top prospect for three seasons and could be the best player to get called up to Philadelphia since Ryan Howard in 2005.

Last season, Brown showed flashes of brilliance at time during his stint in the majors. He had nine hits, one home run and 10 RBI in his first seven starts. But the rookie struggled when major league pitchers adjusted to his long stroke and it greatly affected his performance. Dom hit .183 with two home runs and 13 RBI in only 49 at-bats over 31 games played.

After struggling in winter ball and the beginning of spring training, many fans were under the impression that Brown was all hype and not a good major league player.

Brown has struggled since his call-up to the majors last season, but he only has 62 regular-season at-bats and was not playing every game to hit out of his slump.

Domonic Brown is not the first Phillie to struggle early in his major league career, and will not be the last. Here are a few Phillies who had slow starts to begin their big league career:

1. Ryan Howard (May 2005): 6-for-28 (.214), 1 HR, 1 RBI. Career (7 seasons): .277, 262 HR, 783 RBI, 2005 NL ROY, 2006 NL MVP.

2. Chase Utley (2003): 32-for 134 (.239), 2 HR, 21 RBI. Career (8 seasons): .293, 177 HR, 650 RBI, 2006-2009 Silver Slugger, five time all-star.

3. Jimmy Rollins (April 2001): 23-for 92 (250), 0 HR, 5 RBI. Career (11 seasons): .272, 156 HR, 674 RBI, 2007 NL MVP, 2007-2009 gold glove winner.

Bottom line: players need time to adjust to the top level of professional baseball in the world.

Once Domonic Brown settles in, he could be on pace to equal or surpass the careers of these current Phillies stars.

To read more of Jeff Kerr’s work, click or follow him on Twitter at!/jeff_kerr

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Phillies Series Preview: Howard, Phillies Ready to Face Braves Starting Staff

Phillies: 5-1, first in NL East

Braves: 3-4, fourth in NL East (2.5 games behind Phillies)

Phillies preview: The Phillies come into this early-season showdown with the Braves having won five of six to begin the season. The offense leads the National League with a .353 average and a .407 on base percentage.

Ryan Howard is a strong candidate for player of the week with a .480 average, two home runs and eight RBI. Placido Polanco continues to swing the ball well in April. He is hitting .440 with four doubles and eight RBI.  

Three of Philadelphia’s four aces take the hill in the series, starting with Cliff Lee tonight. Lee had a solid outing in his first start back with the Phillies. He allowed three runs, four hits and struck out 11 in seven innings.

Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels take the mound for the Phillies in the remaining two games. Hamels will look to rebound from one of the worst pitching performances of his career last Tuesday against the Mets. Cole allowed six runs on seven hits in just 2.2 innings of work. He is 9-5 with a 3.95 ERA in his career against Atlanta.

Braves preview: The Braves offense has been anemic after the first week of the season. Atlanta is 13th in the National League with a .226 batting average after seven games.  

Dan Uggla is hitting .222 with two home runs and two RBI this season. The Braves need more production out of Uggla if they are serious contenders for the National League East title.

Jason Hayward continues to hit the ball hard with two home runs and five RBI to begin the season. Atlanta sends Tim Hudson, Brandon Beachy and Derek Lowe to face the Phillies in the series. Lowe is 7-4 with a 3.21 ERA against the Phillies in his career and is hard to hit in Turner Field.

Player to Watch

Phillies: Wilson Valdez is batting .429 with three doubles and five RBI’s this season, which is a pleasant surprise for the offense. He will look to continue this hot streak against Hudson, Beachy, and Lowe.

Braves: Brian McCann has an excellent track record against the Phillies. McCann has a lifetime .289 average, with 12 home runs, and 56 RBI’s against Philadelphia. In order for the Braves to win the series, McCann has to deliver some big hits against the Phillies rotation.


Pitching Probables

Friday 4/8: PHI Lee (1-0, 3.86 ERA) at ATL Hudson (1-0, 1.29 ERA)

Saturday 4/9: PHI Oswalt (1-0, 3.00 ERA) at ATL Beachy (0-0, 1.50 ERA)

Sunday 4/10: PHI Hamels (0-1, 20.25 ERA) at ATL Lowe (1-1, 0.77 ERA)

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MLB All-Star Game 2010: The Should-Be NL Starters

As all baseball fans know, they get to vote every year for the players they want represented to start in the Midsummer Classic.

Unfortunately, most fans get the selections wrong and many undeserving players are selected to start in the All-Star game.

My list for the 2010 NL All-Star starters is based on what these players did for their teams in the first half of the season and the stats that back up their claim.

Phillies fans might be disappointed with these selections…

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Time for a New Manuel

The last few weeks of Phillies baseball has been pitiful.

Just when fans thought the team’s current slump was over after Tuesday night’s slugfest, the Phillies proved tonight the slump has not ended.

Charlie Manuel needs to make changes with this team and edit his constant managing mistakes.

Charlie is an excellent player’s manager. Every player in the Phillies clubhouse gives 110% for Manuel and his staff every game.

The players like his laid-back style and his refusal to put more pressure on them that is already there.

Charlie Manuel has done wonders for this organization.

Still, he is one of the worst in-game managers in all of Major League Baseball.

He continues to use the wrong players in crucial situations.

The Phillies are down 1-0 and need a base-runner in the eighth inning to turn the lineup around for Shane Victorino (their best clutch hitter).

Manuel decides to pitch-hit Roy Halladay for Greg Dobbs.

Dobbs is the worst hitter on the team and is batting .140 on the season going into this at-bat.

He grounds out on a weak swing to third base, ending the inning.

Instead of Dobbs hitting, why not use Brian Schneider.

He is batting .241 and has the ability to get on base with a single or pull the ball over the right field wall which would tie the game.

With Manuel’s error, the inning is over and Roy Halladay is out of the game. He could have hit the ball Dobbs hit to third base.

In a bizarre move just five minutes later, Charlie decides to put Danys Baez in the game. Baez has a 4.50 ERA and is good to give up a run almost every time he comes in. He is the right pitcher to put in a game when the score is 10-0, not 1-0.

As a result, Baez gave up a home run to Dan Uggla, doubling the Marlins lead.

With the way the Phillies were hitting, the chances of them tying the game almost became impossible.

Manuel continues to make the same mistakes at least once a week.

These mistakes cause the Phillies a chance to tie and possibly win a ballgame.

Charlie needs to change something with this team right now. The lineup would be a good start.

The Phillies have too many players that cannot hit in the spot they are in. Manuel needs to stop being patient with them and change things up.

A change in the order would help this team and ruin the scouting reports for the opponent.

Another change Manuel needs to make is to stop giving players a day off when the team has an off day the next day.

Manuel has put Ben Francisco, Greg Dobbs, Wilson Valdez, and Brian Schneider in the same lineup too many games.

There is no reason for Jayson Werth, Chase Utley, or Raul Ibanez to sit out a game when the Phillies have the next day off for travel.

Finally, Manuel needs to keep this team loose.

He should get them away from baseball for a day and have them relax on a day off.

The Phillies are pressing to score runs, which makes it harder to score when a team is in a slump.

If Charlie Manuel cuts down the in-game mistakes and changes things up in the clubhouse, the Phillies will be back to playing like the two-time defending National League champions.

If he keeps managing the same way, Phillies fans could be in the middle of witnessing the biggest disappointment in Philadelphia sports history.

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