NL East Update: Division Full Of Prospects

To follow with the recent trend of NL East teams calling up their highly touted prospects, The Good Phight checks in on Domonic Brown, the lone man remaining from the “Big 3″ the Phillie farm system had last year.

Last year, Brown, Michael Taylor, and Kyle Drabek were simply known as the “Big 3″, but following the blockbuster trade that sent Roy Halladay to Philadelphia, Taylor found himself in Oakland and Drabek in Toronto. Now Brown is far and away the Phillies best prospect and is tearing up Double AA Reading. Brown is the real deal and could be next in line for an outfield position in the near future. To acquire Halladay, Phillie GM Ruben Amaro knew he would have to break up his Big 3, but the question became who was he going to keep? The decision to keep Brown over Taylor and Drabek looks good so far with Brown putting up impressive numbers and both Taylor and Drabek struggling in their new organizations. With Roy Halladay having another Cy Young season, Philadelphia is the clear winner in this deal, but as they say, you can’t judge a trade until all of the players have had a chance to prove themselves.

It was a brutal April for Gary Matthews Jr., and unfortunately for him, there may be too much to overcome to get out of Jerry Manuel’s doghouse.

Acquiring Matthews was a bargain from the beginning. He was fighting for a spot on the roster the minute he entered spring training and if it weren’t for the late injury to Daniel Murphy, who knows where Matthews would be at now. As MetsBlog points out, Matthews is the type of

player who you would think is the best player on the team during batting practice and watching him run around in the outfield, but when its game time he just cant find a way to put it all together. Its kind of like how the benchwarmers for an NBA team always seem to be hitting their shots and lay-ups in warm-ups but when they are put into the game its like they had never seen a basketball before. There is nothing Matthews can do at this point to earn the trust of the fans and the manager back but it doesn’t look like Omar is going to make and moves with him in the immediate future. Maybe this is the end of the line for Matthews career but I would be willing to give him one last chance in a different environment that won’t eat him alive when he can’t find a way to hit the ball.

Even after a shaky start in Altoona in what was said to have been his final start with the Double AA squad, pitching prodigy Stephen Strasburg still finds a way to impress Washington’s front office.

If Stephen Strasburg can generate this much talk and excitement from making a start with the Harrisburg Senators, I can’t imagine what will happen when he suits up for his first start with the Nationals. Barring any injury, it is pretty much a guarantee that Strasburg will get the call to Washington at some point this summer. Strasburg has impressed me with maturity since bursting on to the scene a little over a year ago. After being the #1 overall selection in last years draft, Strasburg has been developing at a rapid and almost flawless pace. Not every 21-year old can handle the expectations that come with the type of pressure Strasburg has had. Ultimately, I believe he will make a smooth transition to the major leagues and will be the first step in many in “officially” bringing baseball back to Washington.

More disappointing news for Braves fans as shortstop Yunel Escobar was placed on the DL with a groin injury suffered in a game against the Cardinals.

It’s going to be one of those seasons for Atlanta…a season to forget that is. Escobar’s replacement will likely be Omar Infante, with 24-year old Brandon Hicks backing up Infante. The word on Hicks, who will be making his major league debut, is that he can’t hit a lick but is an amazing fielder. Infante has been one of the better hitters on the Brave roster as of late, batting .333 on the year and is 7 for his last 16, so there’s no talk about him competing for the job with Hicks, but this would be a great opportunity for the young Hicks to get his feet wet with the big club with an experienced player like Infante playing in front of him.

To checkout Marlin Maniacs new site layout and to learn a little about good strikeouts vs. bad strikeouts with examples of each, click here.

Like the Nationals Adam Dunn, Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla has the reputation of either striking out or hitting a home run. Both players don’t seem to go to the plate with any type of approach or mentality whatsoever, they just get up there and swing as hard as they can at pitches they think they can hit. Uggla’s power makes up for his high strikeout rate, but outfielder Cameron Maybin doesn’t enjoy the same luxury. Maybins lack of power makes him a bigger liability at the plate than Uggla, but he has the speed to make up for it and is considered to be one of the leagues most dangerous on the base paths. It is much harder for the hitters who rely on contact and speed to find a place in the league but that is typically the knock on young players like Maybin.