Domonic Brown swinging

UPDATE: Domonic Brown has fracture in right hand

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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.

Report: Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on Sonny Gray

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 06: Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 6, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.

Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.

Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.

President Obama Welcomes the Cubs to the White House

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As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.

Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.

Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.