Miguel Cabrera was the only player in the MLB to have a better May than Domonic Brown last season. The Phillies enigmatic outfielder had a breakout month belting 12 homers.
Brown, who led the Phillies with 27 homers and 83 RBIs in 2013, lost his groove during the second half of the season, due to injury and the inability to adjust. Pitchers have a different approach to Brown, who has struggled to produce. He only has one homer and 10 RBIs this season
During the current homestand Brown has struggled period. He’s hitting just .083. With the Phillies trailing the Nationals by two in the eighth Friday night, Brown stepped to the plate with two on and two out and struck out.
“He’ll get it going,” Ryne Sandberg said. “He’s just taking what the pitchers are giving him. They’ve been very careful with him.”
There’s no doubt about that. Last May, pitchers challenged Brown so much he failed to draw a walk the entire month. Brown pulled a number of balls over the right center field wall last May. Everything is different this season. The book on Brown is to pitch him low and away.
As a result, most of his hits have been singles to left. He has seldom had the chance to pull for power.
“I have been pitched a certain way,” Brown said. “But sooner or later, pitchers are going to make mistakes. I’m just going to do the best that I can.”
Perhaps Brown will pick it up when it gets warmer and balls start flying out during the part of the season former Phillies manager Charlie Manuel called ‘hittin’ weather.’
“Just think how strong that Phillies outfield would be if Brown gets going,” a NL scout said. “(Marlon) Byrd has been playing very well and Revere has been fine.”
Byrd, who has provided strong defense, is among the league leaders in RBIs with 22 and Revere, who ripped a triple against the Nationals Sunday, is hitting. Brown would provide give the outfield a jolt and the entire team a boost, if he hits for power again.
“I feel good,” Brown said. “I’m confident that I’ll start driving the ball in the gap and beyond.”