On Wednesday, Ruben Amaro said this when asked when Domonic Brown would be called up to the Phillies:
“We have to bring him at the right time for us … And we have to make sure it’s the right time, so when he comes to the big leagues it’s not a situation where we’re questioning whether he should be in the big leagues or not … When it’s time for him to come to the big leagues, he has to be ready to be a big-league player in a lot of different facets of the game.”
I guess Brown has learned a lot in the past 48 hours, because the Phillies just announced that they’re calling him up. Shane Victorino is going on disabled list.
Brown has been absolutely raking down at Lehigh Valley, sporting a line of .341/.431/.537. Meanwhile, the Phillies offense — particularly Raul Ibanez — has been gasping for air.
Is Brown a sure thing? No. He struggled last year in 70 plate appearances following similarly gaudy AAA numbers. But he’s another year older now and clearly has nothing left to prove at the minor league level. If he does have major league flaws, the best way to fix them will be to work through them on the job in the bigs. Besides, he’s 23 now and turns 24 in September. It’s just time for him to be up.
And the fact is, the Phillies need him, and there’s a lot of reason to believe that he can help. That’s good enough for me.
Brewers closer Corey Knebel set a modern major league record for relievers to start a season, as Thursday’s appearance marked his 38th consecutive appearance with a strikeout. He set down the side in order in the ninth inning, striking Josh Bell out to start the frame.
Aroldis Chapman held the record previously, recording a strikeout in his first 37 appearances of the season in 2014 with the Reds.
Knebel, 25, has flown under the radar despite having an incredibly good season. He moved into the closer’s role in mid-May when Neftali Feliz, now a free agent, struggled. After Thursday’s appearance, Knebel is 12-for-15 in save chances with a 0.96 ERA and a 65/17 K/BB ratio in 37 2/3 innings.
Despite having hit at least 20 home runs in eight of his 11 seasons in the majors, Reds first baseman Joey Votto has never participated in a Home Run Derby. Currently, he’s tied for the National League lead in home runs with 20, and he hasn’t been invited to this year’s festivities at Marlins Park.
In the event he is invited, Votto said he thinks he can win it, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto likened himself to Ichiro Suzuki, a player known more for his contact abilities and mastery of the strike zone than power. “Just think of me as the Canadian Ichiro — Japan has theirs and Canada has theirs,” Votto said. “I could pull homers into the seats at will.”
Along with the 20 homers, Votto is currently hitting .306/.419/.601 with 53 RBI, and 52 runs scored in 313 plate appearances.
Teammate Scott Schebler also has 20 home runs at the moment and Adam Duvall, who made it to the semifinals of the Derby last year, has 16. Neither of them have been approached about participating in the Derby, either. Per Rosecrans, in the event each was invited, Duvall said he would consider participating if he wasn’t an All-Star and Schebler would participate regardless. Votto said he would only participate if he made the All-Star team.