I hope you’re happy, Phillies fans.
While the Phillies were able to acquire All-Star outfielder Hunter Pence from the Astros last night, we’ll still have to be subjected to Raul Ibanez in left field on a regular basis. According to Jon Heyman of SI.com, the Phillies plan to send Domonic Brown down to the minors so that he can play everyday, presumably until the rosters expand in September.
The Phillies will likely need to make two roster moves today, with Pence coming over from the Astros expected Placido Polanco to return from the disabled list. On the positive side of things, at least the Phillies didn’t cave completely and give up Brown as part of the Pence trade. They paid a heavy price to get a deal done with the Astros, but including Brown would have been utter madness.
Brown, 23, is batting .246/.335/.393 with five home runs, 19 RBI and three stolen bases over 204 plate appearances this season. The rookie outfielder is hitting .296 (21-for-71) with a .398 on-base percentage this month.
There’s no doubt that the last three years have put David Wright through the ringer. The Mets third baseman missed the bulk of his 2015 season with spinal stenosis and made it through a month of games in 2016 before undergoing season-ending surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck. In 2017, a bout of shoulder impingement, rotator cuff surgery and a laminotomy procedure on his lower back kept him off the field for all 162 games.
Despite the continual setbacks, Wright told MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, he doesn’t believe retirement is in the cards for him this year. “When the end comes, the end comes,” he said Friday. “Hopefully, I’ve got a little more left. But I guess that’s to be determined.”
The 35-year-old last appeared for High-A St. Lucie in 2017, powering through three games with one hit and five strikeouts in 10 plate appearances. His career has advanced in fits and starts since 2015, but you don’t have to do too much digging to find his last great performance with the Mets. Wright earned his seventh career All-Star berth in 2013, slashing .307/.390/.514 with 18 home runs and a terrific 6.0 fWAR in 492 PA. While he isn’t expected to mash at those levels in the near future, if ever again, the Mets believe the veteran third baseman might still have something left in the tank as he tries to extend a 13-year run in the majors.
Per DiComo, the only thing standing in his way is a clean bill of health — not just for the upcoming season, but for the years to come. Wright said he wouldn’t risk returning to the field if it came with long-term implications for his quality of life.
The surgeries are obviously serious stuff, but it just kind of plays with your mind mentally, where you don’t know how your body’s going to hold up,” Wright said. “You don’t know how you’re going to feel a month from now. You don’t know how you’re going to feel a couple weeks from now. You’re hoping that it continues to get better, but you just don’t know.
Given the uncertainty that surrounds his return to the game, it’s a prudent outlook to have.