Trades could affect Domonic Brown

Posted: July 28, 2010

ALLENTOWN - A National League scout said Tuesday night that Domonic Brown was definitely ready to play in the big leagues.

The Phillies may have to decide Wednesday morning if they feel the same way.

With centerfielder Shane Victorino sidelined Tuesday night by a strained muscle in his left side, the Phillies could need immediate help from Brown when they play the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park.

After Brown went 2 for 4 with a two-run triple during triple-A Lehigh Valley's 5-3 loss to Durham on Tuesday night at Coca-Cola Park, Lehigh Valley manager Dave Huppert was asked if he felt his highly touted right-field prospect was ready for the big leagues.

"I don't think Domonic would be the guy if somebody went on the [disabled list]," Huppert said. "If it's only for a short period of time, I think it would be [John] Mayberry. I don't think they want to start the clock."

Before Tuesday, it seemed as if the only way Brown would end up in the big leagues was if the Phillies decided to trade rightfielder Jayson Werth, a potential free agent after this season who reportedly has been on the trading block.

"You know I know what's going on . . . but I keep that in the back of my head," Brown said before the game. "If I start thinking about that I'll be hitting a buck-something. I don't worry about that stuff. I really don't."

Brown left the clubhouse before it was open to reporters after the game.

He continued his impressive assault on triple-A pitching. With his two hits and two RBIs, he raised his average to .346 with 12 extra-base hits and 21 RBIs in 28 games for the IronPigs.

Huppert declined to share his opinion on whether he believes Brown is ready for the big leagues, but he was certainly impressed by the rightfielder's ability to hang in for a two-run triple against sidewinding lefthander R.J. Swindle in the bottom of the eighth inning.

"He doesn't give in at the plate," Huppert said.

Brown is hitting .318 against lefthanded pitching.

Victorino's injury may alter any plans the Phillies have for dealing Werth, but the team's pursuit of Houston staff ace Roy Oswalt continued Tuesday.

Oswalt shot down a report that he does not want to pitch for the Phillies, telling the Houston Chronicle on Monday that he'd be willing to pitch for an East Coast team.

"That's not an issue," Oswalt said. "Like I've said from the beginning, it's going to have to work for both of us."

Translation: Oswalt would like the Phillies to guarantee the $16 million option for the 2012 season.

A baseball source said that option remains a sticking point in any trade. Oswalt, however, told the Chronicle he would not let money stand in the way of a potential deal.

"We can work on doing different things as far as restructuring [the option]," he said.

Oswalt, if he's serious about wanting to play for a contender, could ease his monetary demands as Saturday's 4 p.m. deadline inches closer. The Phillies have to be leery about Oswalt's past back problems. The Astros' ace was shut down for the final two weeks last season because of a degenerative disk.

Lehigh Valley pitcher Brandon Duckworth played with Oswalt in Houston and said it's ridiculous to think that the Astros' ace would have problems pitching in Philadelphia because it's a more intense atmosphere.

"He just wants to win," Duckworth said. "The Astros came so close in 2005 and I know that drives him. The only thing he has to accomplish is a world championship."

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, without mentioning Oswalt's name, said he would prefer for the front office to acquire a top-notch starter. Oswalt is the last pitcher on the trading block who fits that description. But the money is an issue because Oswalt's health has been a factor in the recent past.

Manuel said he's not interested in a pitcher without top-of-the-rotation credentials.

"I don't want us to get some guy we've already got," Manuel said. "What would be the purpose of that?"

There was some thought that the Astros were interested in Vance Worley, who made his first start for Lehigh Valley on Tuesday an impressive one, throwing six shutout innings with seven strikeouts and hitting 94 m.p.h. on the radar gun. Houston, however, did not have a scout at the game.

Contact staff writer Bob Brookover at 215-854-2577 or

Staff writer Matt Gelb contributed to this article.

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