The Phillies were ready to hand starting right field duties to Domonic Brown this season before he suffered a broken hamate bone in the middle of spring training and required surgery.
The 23-year-old is finally healthy again and possibly closing in quickly on a return to the major leagues.
According to Danny Wild, who covers the minor leagues for MLB.com, Brown launched a 400-foot home run and finished 2-for-4 on Wednesday afternoon at Single-A Clearwater. It was his first minor league rehab game since the injury.
“It feels pretty good, I’m almost at 100 percent,” Brown said. “It just feels good to get back out there getting into games. The Phillies thought it was time to progress a bit.”
Ben Francisco has drawn most of the action in right field so far this year for the Phillies and is currently sporting a decent .261/.327/.455 batting line with four homers and 16 RBI. If he continues to play well, the Phils might have Brown spend more than a week or two getting his timing right on the farm.
The Cubs had a scare on Wednesday night when third baseman Kris Bryant left with an apparent ankle injury. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Nationals catcher Matt Wieters hit a pop up that veered just into foul territory near the third base bag. Bryant caught it but his momentum took him back into fair territory. In doing so, he stepped awkwardly on the third base bag and appeared to twist his ankle. Bryant needed the assistance of manager Joe Maddon and the team trainer to get off the field.
Bryant was diagnosed with a mild ankle sprain, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.
Bryant was 2-for-3 on the night before departing and being replaced by Jeimer Candelario. He’s now hitting .264/.395/.520 with 16 home runs and 32 RBI in 329 plate appearances. Needless to say, the 39-39 Cubs would see their playoff odds hurt immensely if Bryant were to miss a significant amount of time.
Hector Gomez reports Twins third baseman Miguel Sano will participate in the 2017 Home Run Derby, to be held in two weeks at Marlins Park in Miami. So far, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is the only other confirmed participant.
Sano, 24, is having an outstanding season, batting .274/.375/.548 with 18 home runs and 53 RBI in 293 plate appearances. According to MLB’s Statcast, only Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (96.7 MPH) has a higher average exit velocity than Sano (96.4 MPH).
Brian Dozier was the last member of the Twins to participate in the Home Run Derby. In 2014 at Target Field, Dozier failed to make it into the second round after hitting only two home runs. Justin Morneau is the only Twin to have ever won the Home Run Derby, as he beat Josh Hamilton 5-3 in the finals of the 2008 Derby at Yankee Stadium — although Hamilton out-homered him in total 35 to 22.