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By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Phillies have some questions going into the 2013 season. The bullpen, Roy Halladay’s health, Michael Young at third base, the health of Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, the list isn’t short.
Perhaps the biggest and most glaring question is in the outfield, where it’s possible the Phillies will have platoon situations in both corner outfield positions.
“There are question marks [in the outfield], no question,” Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro told 94WIP’s Michael Barkann and Ike Reese on Wednesday. “We don’t have Jayson Werth, and we don’t have Hunter Pence out there in right [field] and there is a difference. There is going to be a difference, but that doesn’t mean that the people that are going to be asked to play those positions cannot be as productive. We’re in a situation, where at the very least, we’re going to have some guys competing for positions and guys who have ability, and whether they can show that ability will depend on their maturity and clearly their ability to stay on the field.”
There is no Hunter Pence in right field because Amaro dealt him to the Giants near the 2012 trade deadline, just about a year after the Phillies acquired him.
“[Trading Pence] was the right thing for us to do,” Amaro said. “I mean, I like Hunter a lot and for our club in 2011, he was absolutely perfect. In 2012, he was the perfect piece for us. When we didn’t feel like we were going to get the kind of production that was necessary to command that kind of a salary, and it would tie us up to do some of the things that we needed to do with some of the holes we were going to have, we felt this was the right thing to do. We got an outstanding catching prospect out of it. Very pleased about that and hopefully he becomes a number one or number two catcher for us.”
If Domonic Brown is going to be a productive player for the Phillies, this would seem to be his last chance at doing that. His prior attempts were railroaded by injury, the trade for Pence, and perhaps the organization itself.
“I think it’s just a matter of him having to step up and start to play the game that he should be playing, and the level that he should be playing,” Amaro said of Brown. “I think part of it has been the injury bug, and that is a big part of it, because if he’s a young player that is not able to stay on the field than it makes it difficult for us to count on him. He’s got to put himself in a position that we can count on him health-wise because that’s the whole point on getting younger players, is to have guys that are going to be on the field and be productive. There is no question about the fact that he has ability, and I believe in his ability.”