Since Ryan Howard is likely going to miss at least some of 2012 with the Achilles injury, it would seem that the logical solution would be to put Mayberry at 1B and Brown (crossing my fingers he makes the team out of ST) in left while the Big Piece is out. My question is, what if Brown and Mayberry both tear the cover off the ball while RyHo is out, or at least play pretty well?
When he gets healthy, Howard has to be in the lineup, but who should sit? The most obvious answer would be to platoon Mayberry and Brown for the rest of the year, but might the Phillies get creative? Mayberry has already shown that he can handle center field pretty well, albeit in a small sample size. Does that potentially make Shane expendable? If we can get a deal similar to what the Mets got for Beltran last year (which was a B+ prospect according to Sickles), would anyone be willing to take it?
I'm sure most would answer "fu*k no", but keep in mind Shane's in the last year of his contract, so if Brown and Mayberry preform well enough this year, he might not be back next year anyway. I know this begs the question, "what does good enough" mean?
Victorino had easily the best year of his career posting a 5.9 WAR in only 130 games. Seeing as how Victorino had never broken the 5 WAR plateau before in his career, I would expect him to regress to around 4-4.5 WAR next year. Honestly, I think if Mayberry plays every day, he could reach that and maybe more. I know there's pretty much no consensus at all as to what to expect from Jr. next year, but I don't think a 4 WAR season is that unreasonable given the progress he made this year. Basically, if Mayberry can just repeat what he did in 2011, I think it makes Victorino VERY expendable, and I would definitely be willing to at least shop Shane around at the deadline.
I know the Phillies won't think like this, but to me, it doesn't even matter what Brown does as there's really not much of a chance he's worse than Raul was this year. That is, even if bad Dom shows up in the field next year, it probably won't be a net loss; the Phillies will be no worse off in left than they were this year when they won 102 games and stopped trying at the end.
Overall, I think we should at least be open to the possibility of dealing the beloved Hawaiian at some point this year, and even if we don't trade him, the possibility that he's gone at the end of the year.