Twenty-four hours before Domonic Brown was promoted to the majors in late May, Ruben Amaro Jr. said his top prospect wasn't ready. The next day, after a meeting with Charlie Manuel, Amaro had called Brown to the Phillies and he has been here ever since.
Manuel was a supporter of Brown because he believed then that the 23-year-old was his best option in right field with The Great Ben Francisco Experiment a bust.
"I think he does make us a better team," Manuel said May 20. "We'll see if he can hold his own and handle it. We'll give him every opportunity, and we'll monitor it, so we can try to stir him for a while, and hopefully he'll do good enough to let him go."
Two months later, that tone has changed. Manuel obviously wants an upgrade in right field over Brown. The rookie is hitting .303 with a .789 OPS in 19 July games. But his defensive miscues and hesitancy is concerning to the manager.
"I think he's holding his own," Manuel said. "He hasn't been tearing it up. I see the aspect of his hitting. He shows you sometimes when he puts a good swing on a ball that he has a chance to be a real good hitter. But I think overall, he needs a lot of experience. He needs a lot of good experience."
Is he better gaining that experience here than in triple A?
"He can be more relaxed in triple A than he would be here," Manuel said.
So... what are the advantages of Brown being here?
"Advantage?" Manuel said, before laughing. "Getting time in the big leagues. Getting more money. More meal money."
Hunter Pence, by the way, is hitting cleanup and playing right field for the Houston Astros in Milwaukee tonight.
Have a question? Send it to Matt Gelb's Mailbag.
Download our NEW iPhone/Android app for easy access to all of our Phillies coverage, plus app-exclusive videos and analysis. Get it here.