Domonic Brown isn't playing for the Phillies, so he'll likely play winter ball

10 Comments

Domonic Brown hasn’t played much for Philadelphia and last night a minor quadriceps injury kept him from making a rare back-to-back start, but Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that the Phillies’ minor league player of the year will likely make up for the lost at-bats by playing winter ball.
General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. admitted to Zolecki that staying at Triple-A until September 1 probably would have been best for Brown’s long-term development, but instead he’s been with the Phillies since July 28 while getting a grand total of just 62 plate appearances, including two starts in the past 26 games.
His development and readiness to step into a bigger role could be crucial with Jayson Werth set to hit the open market as a free agent, with the assumption being that Brown will replace him as the Phillies’ everyday right fielder next season. All of which is why Charlie Manuel’s reluctance to give the left handed-hitting Brown some starts against right-handed pitching in place of Shane Victorino has been puzzling.
Brown hit .327/.391/.589 with 20 homers, 22 doubles, and 17 steals in 93 games between Double-A and Triple-A before the call-up, and the 22-year-old who Vin Scully referred to recently as “Daddy Long Legs” ranks as one of the elite prospects in all of baseball.

Aledmys Diaz is trying to improve his defense with strobe glasses

Getty Images
5 Comments

MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports that Cardinals’ shortstop Aledmys Diaz has been sporting a new look around Busch Stadium with a pair of “strobe glasses,” technology-enhanced specs designed to help athletes focus on the ball. Like a strobe light, the lenses of these glasses affect a player’s vision by rapidly changing opacity, giving its wearers the illusion that the objects they see are moving more slowly than normal. Once a player adjusts to the new speed of play, they gain a greater sense of control and are able to time their actions with more precision.

Diaz isn’t the first MLB player to utilize the technology, just the first Cardinals’ player to do so. It’s been tested by Bryce Harper, Corey Brown, Tommy Joseph, Austin Hedges and Joe Mauer, among others around the league, and has been used for everything from refining a catcher’s reflexes behind the plate to tweaking a hitter’s ability to track a pitch. Per Langosch, Diaz has been using the glasses to hone in on the ball during pregame drills, increasing both his confidence and response time on the field and improving his defense at short.

The shortstop has been the focus of some concern this season after seeing a sizable dip in his production at the plate, and his five fielding errors, 0.6 UZR and 0.6 fWAR haven’t helped matters, either. He sustained a minor thumb injury during an at-bat on Friday night, and was left off of the Cardinals’ starting lineup on Saturday, though manager Mike Matheny didn’t rule out his ability to pinch-hit during the series. While the strobe glasses are a good start, Diaz will need more than a pair of specs to match the spotlight-worthy performance he turned out during his rookie season in 2016.

Eduardo Rodriguez could rejoin the Red Sox rotation in July

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Red Sox’ left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez may finally get a chance at cracking the rotation again, assuming all goes well in Double-A Portland first. Rodriguez took the field prior to the club’s afternoon session with the Angels, firing 68 pitches in a simulated game as he prepared for an upcoming rehab assignment in Portland on Thursday.

The 24-year-old southpaw suffered a right knee subluxation during pregame warmups on June 1, and it’s been a slow path to recovery ever since. It’s not the first time Rodriguez has had issues with his right knee — he sustained a similar injury during spring training last year — and this time around, the Red Sox weren’t about to gamble with their starter’s health. Ian Browne of MLB.com reports that Rodriguez was put in a knee brace and underwent exercises designed to help him regain some mobility and stability while he worked back up to full strength on the mound.

He’ll still need to prove he can throw a 75- to 80-pitch outing in Double-A, and barring any significant setbacks, will likely rejoin the Red Sox’ pitching staff when they visit the Rangers next month. In the meantime, the club will continue to cycle starters through the No. 5 spot, which has seen no fewer than three different pitchers since Rodriguez hit the disabled list. The lefty is 4-2 in 10 starts this season after logging a 3.54 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and career-high 9.6 SO/9 through his first 61 innings.