Domonic Brown’s power key as Phillies outfielder nears return

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Barring a physical setback Dom Brown will be back in the Phillies lineup at some point during the Phillies homestand. After missing most of April with tendonitis, Brown will be in right for the Phillies.

When Brown was asked during spring training if he could turn it around he spoke with unbridled enthusiasm. He based his new attitude on a clean bill of health. But that went out the door with his latest injury.

Brown is the Phillies biggest enigma of the Citizens Bank Park era. How can a guy his size, 6-foot-5and 220 pounds, be so fragile? How can a player, who appears to have all five tools not put it together? How can a guy, who seemed to have nailed it with an awesome display of power over a six-week stretch that led to an All-Star appearance in 2013, slide so far back?

“I think the one thing you can point to is injuries,” Brown said. “It seems like every year there is something that physically holds me back, like the (broken) hamate bone, the concussion. If I have some months in which I’m truly healthy, I can put up some numbers.”

Combine Brown’s potential and the Phillies lack of outfield options and pencil in Dom-Dawg in right for the 2015 season unless he has a crazy freefall.

When Brown does return he says he’ll be thrilled to be back in right. “I never felt as comfortable in left as I do right,” Brown said.

There’s no doubt Brown’s cannon of an arm plays best in right. Brown believes he can perform better than adequate in right. But the big question is whether he can provide power, which the Phillies sorely need. Ryan Howard has yet to go yard in 2015 and Odubel Herrera, Ben Revere and Freddy Galvis have little pop. The Phillies need power.

“I can give you that,” Brown said. “I have the ability to do it. I know everyone is going to depend on me for that.”

Who will the Phillies cut when Brown comes back?

“Even though the Phillies guaranteed Grady Sizemore $2 million for the season, the odds are that the one-time Cleveland Indians superstar will be designated for assignment. Sizemore has struggled and has no power. Even during spring training, all he could muster was occasional singles.

It seems like ages ago when Brown made his first major league trip to the plate to a standing ovation in July of 2010. Brown responded with a double that nearly cleared the fence in right center. He was the next big thing playing in a lineup of some of the most feared hitters in baseball.

When Brown walks to the dish this week at Citizens Bank Park, he won’t be greeted with such enthusiasm. He’ll be trying to salvage his MLB career, while hitting in a lineup, which is struggling to generate any kind of offense. How times have changed.

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