Evaluations under way: Phils monitor '13 hopefuls

Evaluations under way: Phils monitor '13 hopefuls

PHILADELPHIA -- Ruben Amaro Jr. and the rest of the Phillies' front office are evaluating every inning of every game the rest of the season.

They are far from ready to draw conclusions.

Outfielder Domonic Brown has hit .267 (20-for-75) with five doubles and 10 RBIs in 21 games. Infielder Kevin Frandsen has hit .350 (28-for-80) with two doubles, one triple, one home run and seven RBIs in 21 games. Catcher Erik Kratz has hit .292 (19-for-65) with seven doubles, seven home runs and 16 RBIs in 26 games. Left-hander Jeremy Horst is 1-0 with a 1.06 ERA in 16 appearances.

They are solid performances, but it makes little sense for the Phillies to anoint anybody anything -- from backup catcher to left-hander in the 2013 bullpen -- based on less than a month's worth of games.

"They haven't pitched a ton and they haven't played a ton," Amaro said Tuesday. "They've only played a couple weeks. They've done a nice job. I don't want to take away from the job they've done, but you have to understand that two weeks does not make or break you. I had a nice two weeks in my career, and then I stunk. I think these guys are probably better players than I am, but everybody likes to jump on the bandwagon, plus or minus. I think we have to show some patience there."

The Phillies entered Wednesday's game against the Cincinnati Reds at Citizens Bank Park with 39 games to play. They will get the opportunity to take a closer look at everybody in those games, but the evaluation process will continue in the offseason and very likely through the closing days of Spring Training 2013.

"Domonic has had about as good of a consistent approach as anybody on our club," Amaro said. "He and Frandsen have been putting together the best overall at-bats as far as controlling the strike zone and swinging at strikes."

And the lack of power from Brown so far?

"He's got a lot of natural power and raw power," Amaro continued. "I'm not worried about that. It always comes late with young players. Very, very rarely does consistent power come in the Major Leagues when they're young. He's been fine in the outfield, too. He's not a finished product yet. He's still learning. But I have a lot of confidence he can be an everyday right fielder or left fielder."

Amaro likes what he has seen from Frandsen and Kratz, commending them for making the most of their opportunity. He stopped short of saying either would be on the bench next season, again, because they need to see more.

"It's a possibility," Amaro said of Kratz's chances as a backup. "We'll continue to watch him play."

There has been an interesting fascination with fans regarding former infielder Wilson Valdez in Philadelphia. The Phillies traded him to the Reds in the offseason for Horst. Earlier this season, even Amaro said he wished he had kept Valdez, but in retrospect it looks like a good trade.

"Guys like Horst and [Raul] Valdes have performed well and much more consistently than some of the other guys in the bullpen, but some other guys have pretty good arms," he said. "They haven't really pitched enough to make a decision one way or the other."