Ron Costello

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Dominic, Herrera and Williams? Doubtful!

One thing you can be sure of, Domonic won't be in the Phillies' outfield next season.

Who says? Well, besides me, this speaks volumes: .234 AVE, 288 OBP, four home runs, 22 RBI (150 at-bats.) But has he improved lately? His short term numbers — over the last 30 days — are slightly better. He's got the rest of the season to show he belongs.

He better hurry up!

Thing is, Dominic's had more opportunities than General Custer, warned to keep the 7th Cavalry away from the Little Big Horn river.

George should have swung south, away from the bluffs, and Dominic needs to have more quality at bats, not less.

South and more quality. See the analogy?

Odubel Herrara, on the other hand, is finding himself. His long and short numbers look good. The Phillies cleared center for Odubel when they sent Ben on a Canadian vacation. A permanent one. I hope Ben checks out the Falls — that Maid of the Mist boat ride is damn good!

Although Ben, unlike the Phillies, might be playing October baseball.

That leaves two outfield positions left, but here's another lock in — Nick Williams, 21, acquired in the Cole Hamels trade. Nick will be one of the corner outfielders come April. The Hamels trade, along with several other trades to get young players, including the soon to be Chase Utley trade, has become Junior's recent and most notable trademark.

Suddenly, Junior's got more kids in camp than an Upward Bound convention.

That leaves the last corner outfield position, and the competition should be fierce. God knows the Phillies are love-struck with Cody Asche. It only took them until May 15 to decide Maikel Franco, not Asche,  the favorite son, was the franchise third baseman.

Junior said Franco just wasn't ready. Sure, and the Pope doesn't like cheesesteaks or soft pretzels!

Not only that, they sent Asche down, gave him some fast minor league OTJ — i.e., they hit him a couple hundred fungos — brought him back and plunked him down in left. If I'm Darrin Ruf, I'd lawyer-up and sue for Show time discrimination.

Don't know what fungos are? Shame on you. I bet my brother Fred does.

Ruf's numbers, by the way — AVE and OBP — are not far from Asche's, but with 150 less at bats.

Here's the thing. Is Asche good enough to hold down a spot on a young, playoff bound club? His outfield work has been decent, no question, and his arm is good. His numbers say he's close to being a solid, everyday outfielder: .258 AVE, .296 OBP, 6 HR and 28 RBI.

All while learning a new position.

If Asche can hit 16-20 home runs and keep his average around .275, he'll stick — and the answer to this riddle will be Asche, Herrara, and Williams.

Ache's toughest competition could come from the farm, in the form of Roman Quinn, 22, picked in the second round in 2011.

But Quinn has had some serious injuries: broken wrist and ruptured Achilles tendon. In June, he suffered a tear in his hip flexor tendon,  which shut him down for the season. I suffered the same injury in the Broad Street Run. I hope Quinn comes back faster than I have.

Cornelius Randolph is most likely two-three years away.

So will it be the favorite son? Or will Dominic win the job over the last forty games?

Or none of the above.

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