After Pence deal, Brown hopes to stay in bigs
All-Star to take over in right, meaning prospect may be demoted
PHILADELPHIA -- Does he stay, or does he go?
Until Astros All-Star right fielder Hunter Pence was acquired Friday night for four players, none being Domonic Brown, it was unknown whether Brown's future would be with the Phillies.
Brown's staying with the organization, but will it be in Philadelphia or the Minor Leagues?
"I just hope I'm here," Brown said, resigned to the fact he could be headed back to the Minors. "I just hope I'm here and not in Triple-A, but if that was to happen, just go out and play. It's all I can do."
The Phillies will wait until Saturday to announce a corresponding roster move to make room for Pence, who is expected to be in the lineup Saturday night.
"I know this guy is going to come in and help our ball club," Brown said. "And that's the big goal right now."
"This is not a knock on Domonic Brown by any stretch of the imagination," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "We hope he's going be a Phillie for a long time. This is one of those moves that we made not just for the present but for the future, and certainly Dom is a part of that."
Amaro said Pence, who is under contract through 2013, will primarily play right field, meaning Brown would likely have to switch to left field next season.
The Phils obviously see enough potential in Brown to keep him in the organization. He was tied to Trade Deadline deals the last three years and survived them all. Even if Brown is optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, he'd be a lock to rejoin the 40-man roster Sept. 1. His plate discipline has value coming off the bench.
With the IronPigs, Brown hit .341 (14-for-41) with a .431 on-base percentage and .537 slugging percentage in 11 games. In 53 games with the Phillies, he hit .247/.338/.399.
"Domonic Brown's got a chance to be a real good hitter," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "He held his own. The more experience he gets, the more it's going to help him and let him learn how to really play the game to his talent. This kid has talent."
It's been a little more than two months since Brown was promoted to the Phillies despite Amaro saying he didn't think he was ready. He arrived as the right fielder of the future.
Brown made a final walk through the clubhouse before exiting in the back to return home, his leather bag slung across his shoulder. He's not quite sure what to think now.
Nate Mink is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.