The Phillies Outright Four More Players
On Monday, the Phillies announced they outrighted four more players off of the 40-man roster. One of the names is a big one:
The #Phillies have outrighted four players off their 40-man roster: OF's Brian Bogusevic, Domonic Brown and Kelly Dugan and C Tommy Joseph.
— Phillies (@Phillies) October 19, 2015
Let’s start with the other three before Brown. Interim GM Scott Proefrock said, via Kevin Cooney of the Bucks County Courier Times, that the team would like to bring them all back.
Brian Bogusevic had a pretty good year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, batting .296/.359/.424 with 33 extra-base hits and 24 stolen bases. After joining the Phillies in early September, he posted a .709 OPS in 61 trips to the plate. He played adequate defense in the outfield, fitting the typical profile of a reserve outfielder.
Bogusevic turns 32 in February and the Phillies already have a veteran reserve outfielder they’d like back in Jeff Francoeur. Bogusevic likely could grab a minor league deal with a handful of other teams and play his way onto a major league roster with a strong spring. However, the Phillies’ outfield is still in flux and he’s only an injury or two away from returning to the show. For that reason, Bogusevic might like to stick around with the Phillies.
Kelly Dugan earned his first promotion to Triple-A at the beginning of August, but he struggled immensely, batting only .221 with a slugging percentage three points higher than his on-base percentage (.295). A foot injury likely had something to with the struggles. Dugan figured to be someone who could at least be part of an outfield platoon and that still may be the case, but there’s no reason to allocate a 40-man roster slot until he proves he can handle Triple-A competition.
Tommy Joseph, the headliner in the Hunter Pence trade, has endured tremendous adversity as concussions have hampered a once-promising career. He played in only 45 games at Triple-A in 2015, mustering a meager .521 OPS as the Phillies moved him to first base from catcher. Joseph is still only 24 years old, but there is zero chance the Phillies can trust him even in an emergency situation which is why he got knocked off the 40-man. The Phillies still have team control over Joseph.
Finally, we can talk about Domonic Brown. His tumultuous time with the Phillies has finally reached an end. Outside of a homer-happy May and a walk-heavy June in 2013, Brown’s offense has been virtually nonexistent. He’s battled injury after injury from a fractured hamate bone to an Achilles injury and most recently a concussion. The Phillies muddled the beginning of his career, yo-yoing him up and down between the minors and the majors. In another universe, the timing all works out and Brown becomes the superstar as expected. As it happened, Brown posted an OPS of exactly .634 in both 2014 and ’15 and made no progress in any facet of his game.
Parting ways is beneficial for both Brown and the Phillies. Brown will get picked up by a team looking for a reclamation project. A new, more supportive environment with less fan pressure and a new set of coaches could be exactly what he needs to revive his career. The Phillies get to see what their other, younger outfielders — Odubel Herrera, Aaron Altherr, Darnell Sweeney, Nick Williams, Roman Quinn — can do in 2016 and beyond.
The Phillies now have nine open spots on their 40-man roster, which gives them plenty of flexibility as they head into the winter. They have the first pick in the Rule-5 draft and an operating payroll currently approaching $64 million. This will be an active off-season for the Phillies, even though they won’t be players for the big name free agents.