UPDATE: Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that Domonic Brown has a fractured hook of the hamate bone in his right hand. Unbelievable.
Surgery is likely, according to David Hale of the News Journal, and would likely sideline him for 3-to-6 weeks. In other words, Ben Francisco is your Opening Day right fielder.
4:17 PM: Domonic Brown isn’t having the best luck this spring.
After going hitless over his first 15 spring training at-bats, Brown hit a clean single up in the middle in the second inning of this afternoon’s game against the Pirates. However, in the next half inning, John Mayberry Jr. came out to play right field while Brown headed back to the clubhouse with Phillies head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan.
Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer mentioned that Brown fouled off a pitch during his at-bat in the second inning and looked down at his hand. It was just speculation at the time, but it turns out he was dead-on. According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, Brown is having an X-ray on his right hand.
Many expected the top prospect to grab a hold of the right field job during exhibition action, but just about everything has gone wrong for Brown so far. On the bright side, Ben Francisco had another great day with the bat today, going 2-for-3 with a home run, a double and two runs scored. He’s batting .421 (8-for-19) with two home runs and six RBI over his first six Grapefruit League games.
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.
David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.
Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:
[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.
The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.