I know that many of you had your fill of Domonic Brown last year.
To be sure, his 2014 season was a disaster. He was worth an incomprehensible -1.7 wins above replacement, according to Fangraphs. He batted .235/.285/.349 with just 10 home runs and 22 doubles in 512 PAs, with a 6.6% walk rate, a .280 wOBA and a wRC+ of 75. He was worth -8 defensive runs saved last year in left field, often looking as though his legs were made of pool cue sticks.
He was, in three words, very, very bad.
So it will undoubtedly anger many to learn that Brown will like be back as an every day starter in 2015.
CSN Philly's Jim Salisbury talked to general manager Ruben Amaro after the trade that sent Marlon Byrd to Cincinnati on New Year's Eve.
With him gone, it’s possible that Domonic Brown could move from left field to right field, the position he played in the minors. Amaro has spoken to Brown about such a move and Brown has been preparing for the possibility this offseason.
A move back to right field is likely welcome news to Brown, who has always seemed more comfortable there. However, it should be noted that in his career playing right field, Brown is a -16 in defensive runs saved. So people probably shouldn't get their hopes up for a dramatic defensive turnaround.
There is no doubt about the fact that 2015 is Brown's last shot with this team. But it appears as if the Phillies, specifically Pat Gillick and Ruben Amaro, are prepared to give him that one last shot. And no matter how much you might not like it, keeping Brown and continuing to play him every day makes the most sense.
You don't trade a player like Brown, still just 27, away, because you'd be trading away a younger player when his value is lowest. Brown has now played just two full seasons in the Majors, and was an All-Star in one of those seasons, when he hit .272/.324/.494 with 27 HRs in 2013.
My exit interview with Brown details just how bad he was last year. There is no way his season can be described as anything other than a failure. But the Phillies are going nowhere in 2015. Everyone knows this. There is no young outfielder in the minors that is pushing for an everyday job in the way Brown was when the Phillies decided to let Jayson Werth go to the Nationals.
Brown is the Phils' best bet to get production from a young outfielder in 2015. The Phillies are hoping he can have a turnaround similar to what Pat Burrell was able to do after his disastrous 2003 campaign, which I wrote about back in July.
But the team stuck with Burrell, and as a result, good things happened. He responded in 2004 with a 24 homer season in which he hit .257/.365/.455, and then had four straight seasons in which he hit 32, 29, 30 and 33 homers, ultimately playing a key role in the Phils' World Series title in 2008.
Maybe Brown will be able to overcome his horrible 2014 season and be a productive player in '15. Perhaps he can replicate what Burrell did in 2004 and use it as a launching pad for a successful career after all.
I'd say the odds are better than not that Brown never becomes the player we were hoping he'd be, and I'd say the odds are even that he'll become a league average player. But the Phillies lose absolutely nothing by giving him this one last shot.
The trade of Byrd to the Reds all but assures Brown the everyday right field job in 2015, with Ben Revere in center and some combination of Darin Ruf, Odubel Herrera, and Grady Sizemore in left, with Jeff Francoeur a potential candidate to replace Brown if he struggles too badly in right.
You may not like the idea of Brown coming back next year, but it's happening. And it's in the franchise's best interest for him to turn his career around.