As the Phillies move closer and closer to Spring Training there is still some uncertainty about which direction the outfield will go. Some are thinking Dom Brown can step right in and take over while others are thinking a platoon of Brown and Ben Francisco could work, too.
Then again, there is the possibility that Brown struggles to start the year. He did leave the Dominican League due to fatigue from a long season. The Phillies might need an extra outfielder on the bench that can play corner to corner.
I am not fully endorsing Lastings Milledge as this guy, but he could be a cheap addition that would add speed to the already fast lineup. Like I said, I am not completely sold on the idea of going out and getting a guy like Milledge. The Phillies have a great clubhouse chemistry right now and Milledge has been known to stir the pot a bit.
Milledge made his MLB debut in 2006 with the Mets, the original team that drafted him. Debuting at the same age as Darryl Strawberry. Ironic, but not important. A thinking around the league is that he is a bit immature for the majors and that (my opinion) he doesn’t respect the game.
As a player, he is a career .269 hitter with a little pop. His first real full season was in 2008 when he played for the Washington Nationals and played in 138 games. He hit .268 with 14 home runs and 61 RBIs. For a 162 game average, Milledge has a .269/12/63 stat line.
Milledge can also add speed late in games. He has 40 stolen bases for his career, 24 in 2008 while only being caught nine times. The best part about him was his salary last season was just under $500,000. The Phillies could get him super cheap and even send him down to Lehigh Valley.
As of right now, the Phillies have their outfield set more or less with Ibanez and Victorino covering left and center, respectively. Right field is still up for grabs with BenFran and Brown. It seems right field might be Francisco’s job to lose going into Spring Training. Ross Gload filled in last season adequately and I don’t see John Mayberry cracking the majors until a possible September call up.
It is hard to see where Milledge would fit in with this Phillies roster. I value BenFran higher and Brown even higher than that. Like I said before, Milledge could sign and head right to Triple A has an emergency outfielder.
For the price, it could work out.