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.
The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.
Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).
Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.