Sunday, November 29, 2015

Filling two outfield spots

Delmon Young would be Ruben Amaro Jr.'s everyday right fielder, if it wasn't for the fact that he is already behind schedule as he continues to heal from microfracture surgery on his ankle from November.

Filling two outfield spots

Delmon Young signed a $750,000 contract on Tuesday with the Phillies. (Charles Fox/Staff Photographer)
Delmon Young signed a $750,000 contract on Tuesday with the Phillies. (Charles Fox/Staff Photographer)

CLEARWATER, Fla. — When Ruben Amaro Jr. declared "in a perfect world" Delmon Young would be his everyday right fielder, he issued one small caveat a month ago.

Young is already behind schedule.

The controversial outfielder reported to camp Friday morning but did not speak to reporters. Young had microfracture surgery on his ankle in November. It's unknown when he will be ready to play in Grapefruit League games, or if he will at all.

That undermines the prevailing narrative in Phillies spring training: Domonic Brown, Darin Ruf and John Mayberry Jr. are fighting for one spot. In reality, both corner outfield spots are probably up for grabs because Young is likely to start the season on the disabled list.

More coverage
VOTE: Who'll be the next coach/manager to leave?
POLL: Is Klentak the right choice for the Phils as GM?
Final season stats for Phillies
Download FREE Philly Sports Now app for iPhone!
Buy Phillies jerseys and other gear
WATCH: Daily fantasy baseball updates

"I'd say we'd just throw them out there," Manuel said, "and let them see who does the best."

The Phillies hope Young, a former first-round pick who has not played right field in five years, eventually seizes his opportunity. Until then, Grapefruit League games will serve as the measuring stick.

Expect Ruf and Brown to accumulate many at-bats this spring. It's not a stretch to think both could be starting on April 1 in Atlanta.

Manuel was asked Thursday if he was still open to the idea of a platoon, or at least splitting time at one of the corners.

"I don't care... as long as it gets done," Manuel said. "We think about a lot of things. I talk with our guys, our staff and everything. We want to play the best team we possibly can and see what happens. If it happens to be platoon guys I might have to do that."

Manuel has harped on defense being a necessity. When asked about what Brown must accomplish this spring, it was forefront on the manager's mind.

"He has to play defense," Manuel said. "He has to play stable defense. But also, he's got to be productive. I don't care who we have to play out there. We need some defensive play, and we also need some production. We need some production out of them."


- Ryan Howard says he must stop "listening to the noise" and "let the inner me come out." Age is against him.

- Domonic Brown wants a real opportunity to win a job this spring. Bob Brookover writes it could be Brown's first and last shot at that.

- In two weeks, Phillippe Aumont will leave Phillies camp, but he thinks it'll help win him a bullpen spot.

Have a question? Send it to Matt Gelb's Mailbag.

We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

The place for up-to-the-minute Phillies coverage from The Inquirer's beat writers and columnists.

Jake Kaplan Inquirer Staff Writer
Bob Brookover Inquirer Columnist
Marc Narducci Inquirer Staff Writer
Matt Breen Inquirer Staff Writer
Latest Videos:
Also on
letter icon Newsletter