Brown downplays talk of make-or-break year

With future in Philly uncertain, former All-Star focused on winning, having fun

Brown downplays talk of make-or-break year

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- If Domonic Brown is concerned about his future in Philadelphia, he kept those thoughts to himself Monday at Bright House Field.

Brown will open the season as the Phillies' right fielder, but with plenty to prove following a poor 2014 campaign. He made the 2013 National League All-Star team, but hit just .235 with 10 home runs, 63 RBIs and a .634 OPS in 144 games last season. Brown's OPS ranked 139th out of 147 qualified hitters in baseball.

"I don't know what they've got planned for me, man," Brown said. "I think I know myself a little better every single year. I looked at last year as a learning experience as well. Even though I had some struggles, I think I ended the season on a decent note."

Brown cited a poor May for skewing his overall numbers. He hit .146 with a .503 OPS that month. Brown hit .250 with a .686 OPS after the All-Star break. If he had posted a .686 OPS the entire season, it would have ranked 122nd in baseball.

But Brown is getting a chance to play because the Phillies need to see if he can be the player they saw in 2013, when he hit .272 with 27 homers, 83 RBIs and an .818 OPS. If he is, then they know they have a right fielder for the foreseeable future. If not, then they know they need to look elsewhere.

"I really don't even put that in my mind," Brown said about his future in Philadelphia. "We'll see what happens. That's part of the business as well. All I can do is prepare myself every day to be a Philadelphia Phillie until I get traded."

Brown returns to right field after the Phils traded Marlon Byrd to the Reds.

"I'm not even getting into it," Brown said, asked if a position change could make him more comfortable on the field. "Wherever I'm at, I'm going to have fun playing, wherever I am on the baseball field. Is it going to get me more comfortable at the plate? I really don't know. I have a really different mindset this year, and that's going out and having a lot of fun. I know what my ability [is]. I'm going to do what I'm [capable of doing]."

Brown said he and his teammates have not been on the "same page" recently. He would not elaborate, other than to say the "Phillie Way is playing hard, running balls out, taking the extra base." Brown would not say if those players remain in the clubhouse. He only would say he wants to win.

"That's my biggest goal," Brown said. "Whether I'm sitting on the bench or playing every single day, it really doesn't matter. I'm going out there and I'm making sure that I'm going to give my team a chance to win a ballgame."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.