Brown was called up July 28 after Shane Victorino went on the DL. With Werth moving to center, he played 15 games in right. The kid made one memorable throw and many more that were not. His routes were inconsistent. He was a work in progress.
Dom Brown needed to resume his minor league education with the Iron Pigs. Instead, inexplicably, he finished the season here and was on the postseason roster - ostensibly for his speed. He was 0-for-3 as a pinch-hitter and scored one run as a pinch-runner. In other words, he was an ornament.
Brown didn't need to be here all that time collecting cobwebs and attaching a .210 average to his previously solid resume. He didn't need to expose flaws that could have been quietly corrected in a minor league setting. He didn't need to learn that his sky-diver-hooking-onto-the-jump-cable stance would be an invitation to major league pitchers to pound him up and in while denying him the down-and-in fastballs he was trolling for.
Well, Dom went to Santo Domingo Nov. 15 to play for the defending Dominican Winter League champion Leones del Escogido. Manager Ken Oberkfell had also led a beefed-up version of the Leones to the prestigious Caribbean Series title.
But Dom was too rusty to play when he arrived on the 15th and didn't make his first start until the 19th.
Oberkfell batted him in the No. 3 hole, befitting of a player rated the game's No. 1 prospect after both Braves prodigy Jason Heyward and Marlins slugger Mike Stanton were promoted to the majors.
By last Sunday, Brown was 1-for-19 and had been dropped to the No. 7 hole. Batting No. 6 was veteran Mets utility infielder Fernando Tatis, who carried a .152 average out of a game between the second-place Leones and third-place Estrellas de Oriente. So with a base open and the game on the line, the .152 hitter was intentionally walked so the Oriente could pitch to Brown. Another 0-for-4 left the rightfielder at 1-for-23, .043, with an OPS of .207.
The DWL is not a development league. The ballclubs there are not looking for gringos coming to work on a weakness. This is the league where manager Jose Offerman was banned for life last winter for decking an umpire. Intensity? Go on YouTube and search "Aguilas vs. Licey." Makes a game at The Bank sound like a church service.
So maybe Dom was sent there to toughen up. Trouble is bat sub .100 long enough there and you're guaranteed a flight to Miami out of Las Americas International.
While this little drama involving the presumed future rightfielder plays out, today is the deadline for Werth to accept arbitration from the Phillies. Should he do so - a lottery-odds shot - GM Ruben Amaro would be faced with the Polanco Dilemma. Remember when Placido surprised hell out of Ed Wade after the 2005 season by accepting arbitration, thereby costing the Phils two draft picks they were expecting to get? Instead, they would wind up with Hugo Chavez' favorite felon, Ugueth Urbina.
I don't expect that to happen again. But could a growing concern that Brown might need to recover those lost Triple A at-bats next season give Amaro second thoughts about letting Werth walk without making a sincere offer? Not to mention it does not appear, despite the manipulations of Boras, there are many clubs willing to give a 4-year, $80 million deal to a late-blooming 31-year-old.
Word in the back channels is that while there have been general "conversations" with Boras, Werth has not received an offer from Amaro since last February. That supposedly was a 4-year offer for far less money than Bay's 4-year, $66 million Mets contract. The outfielder told CSN's Jim Salisbury yesterday that he is not close to a deal at this time.
Werth was expected to set the free-agent market ceiling as the top-rated position player. But Derek Jeter, a Yankees icon, has taken center stage, thanks to a rancorous negotiation with Son-of-Boss Hank Steinbrenner.
In the illustrious history of the Yankees, the generational icons have been Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Jeter, the face of the most recent dynasty. There is a blank monument waiting for DJ in the bowels of New Yankee Stadium.
When Yankees GM Brian Cashman suggested that perhaps the shortstop should consider shopping himself to other teams, the pinstriped ghosts of World Series past had to be spinning in their underground lockers.
I wonder who Amaro was really talking to when he delivered his "Raul is just as productive as Werth" monologue, sounding like "Boardwalk Empire" boss Nucky Thompson endorsing Edward Bader for mayor.
Was he pumping Ibanez? Or was the GM saying a none-too-subtle goodbye to his only right-handed power hitter?
We're about to find out, as this annual dance between GMs, agents and their clients approaches the "Good Night Ladies" phase.