Rick Sweet tracked down Brett Phillips in a hallway outside the clubhouse in Oklahoma City to tell him the news.
“I said, ‘Hey, come here,’” said Sweet, the Sky Sox manager. “I said, ‘You’re going to be starting in Milwaukee tomorrow.’ His eyes got big and he just goes, ‘Ahh.’ I said, ‘Breathe. Relax. Breathe.’ I gave him 30 seconds.
“I had to remind him to breathe. He actually had to put his hands on my shoulders and lean on me and relax.”
The next day, Phillips indeed started for the Brewers and collected his first big-league hit as well as registering his first big-league assist on a throw from center field to second.
That was supposed to be just a brief assignment, a “taste,” as Sweet called it while Travis Shaw was on paternity leave.
But Phillips didn’t come back to Colorado Springs. And as it turns out, Phillips’ promotion was just the just beginning of the downpour as teammates Josh Hader and Lewis Brinson have now also received promotions. A Sky Sox roster once loaded with up-and-coming talent has seen the best of them up and leave in a matter of days.
Brinson and Hader, both athletic enough to command center field, formed an outfield here with the Sky Sox that was, along with fellow prospect Ryan Cordell, as stacked as any position group for the Triple-A team in recent memory. A starting rotation in 2010 that included Jhoulys Chacin, Samuel Deduno and Esmil Rogers would be in that conversation; but this outfield has the potential to far eclipse what that trio did at the next level.
Here’s some of what was written about this Milwaukee-bound group in their time in Colorado Springs:
FULL GROUP (INCLUDING BRETT PHILLIPS)