Brown, Mathieson honored with Minors awards

Brown, Mathieson honored with Minors awards

PHILADELPHIA -- Domonic Brown and Scott Mathieson took decidedly different routes to the Paul Owens Award.

Brown is the rising star.

Mathieson is bouncing back after frustrating setbacks and three elbow surgeries.

Both were honored before Sunday's 7-6 win over the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. Brown is the organization's Minor League Player of the Year. Mathieson is the organization's Pitcher of the Year.

"It's a big honor," Brown said.

Brown, 23, hit a combined .327 with 22 doubles, four triples, 20 home runs and 68 RBIs in 93 games with Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He had a .391 on-base percentage and a .589 slugging percentage. He appeared in the All-Star Futures Game in July. Baseball America named him the No. 1 prospect in baseball in its midseason rankings.

He joined the Phillies in July, and could be their everyday right fielder in 2011.

But before Brown gets a chance to prove he is ready for the job in Spring Training, he will try to recover from a strained right quadriceps, which has kept him on the bench since Sept. 7. He said it has improved, although some days are better than others. But because he has missed so much time, partly because of the injury and partly because he has been a bench player, he will play winter ball in the Dominican Republic to get at-bats and work on his defense, which needs improvement.

"I think I'm ready, if need be," Brown said of being an everyday player. "I think I'm ready to step out there and do what the team needs me to do."

Mathieson's big league career derailed in 2006, when he tore a ligament in his right elbow. He had Tommy John surgery on Sept. 29, 2006. He rehabbed, but had complications and had ulnar nerve transposition surgery on Sept. 24, 2007. He rehabbed, came back again, but had another setback and had a second Tommy John surgery.

He rehabbed again, and enjoyed a promising season with Lehigh Valley. Mathieson, 26, went 3-6 with a 2.80 ERA and 26 saves in 54 appearances. In 64 1/3 innings he struck out 83 as his fastball sat in the high 90s.

He has made two appearances for the Phillies this season, but is on the disabled list with a strained back muscle.

"I was happy with how the season went," Mathieson said. "Disappointed that I spent the whole season there -- I wish I was here, but I was glad with the way I played. Hopefully I proved that, [and] next year they'll give me more of a chance."

Mathieson has worked with Hall of Fame closer Bruce Sutter on a splitter, which he will continue to work on. Mathieson said he does not think it is something he must throw to be successful in the big leagues, but he thinks it is something that can help.

He will work with Sutter in the offseason on the splitter.

"My goal is to be part of the bullpen next year," Mathieson said.