Looking into the IL – IronPigs: Can Brown pass Triple-A

Get the word: Jon Schaffer is the third year Lehigh Valley radio broadcaster.
LISTEN: Click to hear Jon’s thoughts and the conversation

The burning question still out there:
Questions? Not too many with the Phils. The roster is pretty well established with major investment (upwards of $150 million payroll) attached to the players holding those positions. The main two concerns are injuries sustained to Brad Lidge and JC Romero, both will be stuck in Florida when the season’s first pitch is thrown.

Since Jason Werth is in the final year of his contract and potentially rewarded mega-bucks, you have to wonder if the Phillies will preview young talent as a potential replacement or, at the very least, provide some sort of a measuring stick to those players. Dominic Brown maybe the next player to get that chance and even force Philadelphia to make room, as they did for Ryan Howard just a few years ago when Jim Thome was traded. Highly regarded by the organization, he has the front office raving for his ceiling, development and pure talent and the greater Philly is anxious to see what the 2010 season will bring.

The other question from Mayor Pawlowski’s office: will the IronPigs finally get a .500+ record? Start 1-0 or be 65-64, they don’t care. The franchise has never, at any point in any of the first two years, had a winning record.

IronPigs Quick Hits:
Most free agents signed by the Phillies this offseason knew that they were fighting for spots outside the big league roster. Despite being primarily a veteran club each of the first two seasons in Allentown, PA this could be the most senior club the community has seen. An area deprived of affiliated baseball for nearly a half century has quickly beloved Andy Tracey, who has adopted his role as mentor but not faulted production. The ‘Pigs first basemen hit 26 homers and drove in 96 last year before his promotion to Philly, where he went 5-12 at the plate.

Dominic Brown is the next big thing Phils fans are waiting on to arrive. Despite being selected in the 20th round of the 2006 draft, Baseball America tabbed the 22-year old as the top prospect in the system the past two years. Of course, this comes the year after the publication saw nine of the top 30 drop out of the current rankings and six of the ten from the previous year traded away. The five-tool player is expected to being the year in AA Reading before facing International League competition.

The Bisons play the IronPigs:
As far as IL division opponents go, meeting for the first time May 22 is a little odd as Buffalo opens a four-game series on a Saturday night. The May trip is one of three the Herd will make, following with a two-game set August 9 & 10 and during the final road trip of the year, September 3 & 4 before heading to Rochester to close out the regular season. Home dates versus the IronPigs include a pair of four-gamers: June 12-15 and July 31- August 3 (both starting on a Sat. night).

Last year head-to-head:
The Bisons went 6-10 versus LHV last season, including a split of the eight home games. The most notable performances happened in August for the Bisons, including August 14; Six Bisons have a multi-hit game, including three apiece from Argenis Reyes and Andy Green. August 15; Nick Evans hits a three run homer and a solo shot from Chip Ambres help the Herd to a 7-5 win while Argenis Reyes extends his hit streak to 14 games, with a third straight three hit game. August 16; Tobi Stoner fires six scoreless innings leading the Bisons to a shutout win. August 17; Down 4-1 in the eighth, Buffalo explodes for eight runs in the inning to beat LHV 9-4 in monster come from behind fashion. Twelve batters came to the plate during the rally.

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