The Phillies are going into the 2011 season with sky-high expectations. Of course, they earned those expectations with a rotation of the god-like right arm of Roy Halladay, big free agent signing Cliff Lee, 2008 World Series MVP Cole Hamels, and former 20-game winner Roy Oswalt. But, like an old cliche says, "Nobody is perfect." The Phillies have one big flaw, and that is right field. The dilemma grows in Philadelphia, and everybody is uncertain who will play in right field for the Phillies with the loss of Jayson Werth. Here are a few options for the Phillies in 2011:
1. Ross Gload
Ross Gload is a great pinch hitter. Not an everyday player. Charlie Manuel has already expressed his concerns in Gload as a fielder. Gload, typically an infielder, does not have much experience in the outfield. Last season, as mostly a pinch hitter, Gload hit .281 and had 128 total at-bats. He added six HRs and 22 RBI. Gload's left-handed bat would overload the Phillies lineup with lefties and switch hitters like Raul Ibanez, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Shane Victorino and Jimmy Rollins. Teams could strategically tear the Phillies apart with late-inning left-handed specialist relievers.
2. Ben Francisco
Ben Francisco is a very legitimate answer to the Phillies' right field problem. Last season, he hit .268 with 6 HRs and 28 RBI. Francisco was a starter on rest days for Raul Ibanez and Jayson Werth, and usually a defensive substitution for Ibanez in late innings. Francisco has decent speed, which will make up for some of the lost speed in Jayson Werth. Francisco, a tested veteran, could be a valuable asset for the Phillies in 2011.
3. Domonic Brown
Domonic Brown is the Phillies' biggest up-and-coming prospect. Last year, in a short stint in the majors, Brown hit two HRs and drove in 13 RBI. He hit .210. One of his two home runs was a towering shot that broke the 400' mark, and landed in the second deck of Citizens Bank Park.
In 65 games in Double-A Reading last season, Brown hit 15 HRs and drove in 47 runs. In 28 games in Triple-A Lehigh Valley, he hit five HRs and drove in 21 runs—very impressive numbers. Also, to add on to those, he stole a total of 18 bases in double and triple-A ball.
Brown has very good speed, which would definitely replace that of Werth. Brown also has a rocket arm. He might not be ready for the majors yet, and that showed last year, but he is our right fielder of the future. Brown has postseason expierence, which many rookies coming into the league lack.
Another option is John Mayberry, Jr. He is a long shot for making the team, but certainly will be a consideration. He has great speed and power and is a decent fielder. He has six home runs in 69 major league at bats. Not to mention, Mayberry's genes have baseball in them. John Mayberry, Sr. was a great player for the Kansas City Royals. Mayberry will most likely end up in the minors, but there's a chance the Phillies will keep him up in the majors.
All in all, the Phillies, year after year, have made the right moves when needed and always get the job done. All fans have confidence in the Phillies front office, and if their outfield does not produce, look for a move to be made at the trade deadline. The Phillies in the end will make the right choice and have success in 2011.