The regular season needs to start ASAP for Domonic Brown, who continues to rake in Grapefruit League play. Brown went 3-for-4 with another homer, two RBI and two runs in the Phillies' 17-10 loss to the Braves.
Brown is now hitting .400/.471/.683 with five homers, 11 RBI, six walks and seven strikeouts in 68 plate appearances. His plate discipline has remained sharp while the power stroke has finally developed. His mammoth homer to right field came off Kris Medlen.
Medlen allowed 14 hits to the Phillies in five innings. Included in that were Darin Ruf's fourth and fifth doubles. Ruf is up to .224 with a .388 slugging percentage this spring. Impressive? No, but it's a far cry from where he started.
Rodrigo Lopez was absolutely blown up by the Braves, serving up two homers and eight runs in two innings. On the plus side, Monday's appearance likely ensures that if the Phillies do carry a long reliever/swingman starter, it won't be Lopez.
Justin Upton was the key cog for the Braves, homering twice and going 3-for-3 with six RBI. His brother, B.J., is hitting .396 this spring.
Betancourt a trade candidate?
He has an opt-out clause that can cause his release from the Phillies on March 24 if he isn't going to make the opening day roster, so the Phils don't really have much leverage in a potential trade. Not that they would anyway, since we're talking about Yuniesky Betancourt.
But Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe mentions that the Cardinals are eying Betancourt as a replacement for shortstop Rafael Furcal, who is out for the season with an elbow injury. With the way Freddy Galvis and Kevin Frandsen have played this spring, expect the Phillies to release Betancourt ahead of the opt-out date to allow him to pursue a more fruitful opportunity. The Nationals did it with catcher Chris Snyder this morning, and he was snatched up by the Angels less than an hour later.