Ruben Amaro, Jr. recently noted that the Phillies are likely finished adding significant pieces. If the general manager is shooting straight, that means that two unproven commodities will man the corner outfield spots.
Let’s go back to the last week of the season when Charlie Manuel was asked about Kevin Frandsen, who has primarily been a utility player throughout his career, possibly winning a starting job in 2013 after a terrific last two months of 2012.
Manuel cringed and delivered a dose of reality.
“I want to talk about special players,” Manuel said. “When I say ‘special players,’ I’m not talking about All-Stars like [Albert] Pujols.’ To me, a special player is someone that plays everyday, like [Shane] Victorino.”
Well, Victorino is gone and the Phillies may or may not have a special player in the corners. They avoided the temptation of mortgaging the future for pricey free agents, such as Josh Hamilton or BJ Upton, who may or may not have been the answer.
Fans will wait and see if Amaro will try to add an Alfonso Soriano or Vernon Wells before Opening Day. It’s been so long since the Phillies have had significant job openings that you have to back to the pre-Charlie Manuel era.
But Manuel’s correct, it takes an extraordinary player to produce throughout the grind of a 162-game schedule. Will Domonic Brown sink or swim — barring a spring injury — in the outfield.
“Brown has all the tools to succeed,” Manuel said. “We’ll see what he can do.”
Can Darin Ruf, who has never played a game in Triple-A, earn a job and keep it in the majors?
“I’ve always worked with what I had,” Manuel said. “I’ve had platoons before and if someone gets real hot, he can win a job. That’s what happened with Jayson Werth a few years back.”
And the extraordinarily wealthy Werth proved to be a special player.
“There’s not as many of those players out there as we all would like,” Manuel said. “But when you have them, you sure appreciate them.”