Domonic Brown was on the verge of replacing Jayson Werth as the Phillies’ starting right fielder when the 23-year-old top prospect suffered a broken hamate bone in mid-March.
His comeback took a big step yesterday as Brown homered twice in an extended spring training game and Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that he’s scheduled to begin a minor-league rehab assignment today.
He’ll start out at high Single-A and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. was noncommittal when asked if Brown would be promoted to the majors once the maximum 20-day rehab stint was completed, saying: “He could. It all depends on how he plays.”
Brown’s injury opened the door for Ben Francisco to hit .262 with four homers and a .775 OPS in 23 games as Philadelphia’s primary right fielder and there were questions about Brown’s big-league readiness even before the broken hamate bone, so it won’t be surprising if the Phillies option him back to Triple-A once the rehab assignment is finished. If healthy though, Brown should quickly make it pretty clear that he has nothing left to prove in the minors after hitting .327 with a .980 OPS between Double-A and Triple-A last year.