Pete Rose may be banned from baseball but the hit king is obsessed with the game and has a keen mind when it comes to all things on a diamond. When asked who is the key player for the 2015 Phillies, Rose blurted out the name of the club’s most enigmatic player.
"They have to find a way to fix Domonic Brown,” Rose told Metro. “The Phillies desperately need power and he’s a huge potential source of power. He’s the guy who needs to find himself if they’re going to do anything at all."
Rose is spot on. If the Phillies are at least going to be at least competitive, they need Brown to bounce back to his early 2013 form, when he clubbed 23 homers by the All-Star break. Dingers have been few and far between for the Phillies in Grapefruit League play. Brown, who appears to be in the best shape of his career, believes he can be the Phillies offensive catalyst.
“I think I can do that job,” Brown said. “My approach is to go out there and be aggressive. I’ve never felt so good at this stage.”
The oft-injured Brown is pleased since he is healthy. “Over the last couple of seasons, there has always been something that has put me on the disabled list or just made me uncomfortable,” Brown said.
There was the broken hamate bone, a concussion and a number of other injuries that have knocked Brown off course.
“I have no excuses this spring,” Brown said. “I feel good physically and at the plate.”
Another huge plus going into the season, according to Brown, is that he’s slated to start in right field. “That’s always been my most natural position,” Brown said. “I see the ball coming off the bat better and I’m just more comfortable there than in left. I’ll be happy to play any position but in terms of me being comfortable, there’s no place I’m happier than in right.”
When the productive bats of Marlon Byrd and Jimmy Rollins were dealt, Brown realized he has to step it up.
“There’s no doubt about that,” Brown said. “A lot of offense left this team and we have to pick up the slack. I’m feeling good about everything. I’m optimistic that I can generate something positive for this team. I think health is important to us. If we can be healthy and play the way we’re capable of, I think we’ll surprise a lot of people. But right now, I’m just focusing on what I can do. I’m taking it one at bat a time. I have a month to get it together here. I’m trying to find a groove and take it back to Philly and have a really good season, one in which I play the way I’m capable of.”