The Phillies made official today what everyone expected would happen when they informed Domonic Brown that will start the season on the disabled list. Brown has been dealing with a sore left Achilles since last week and his recovery was said to be coming along slowly.
All of which means that the Phillies outfield is going to be an even bigger tire fire than expected. Members will include Ben Revere, Darin Ruf and some combination of Jeff Francoeur Jordan Danks, Brian Bogusevic and Rule 5 pick Odubel Herrera.
Feel the excitement.
Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown has been dealing with a sore left Achilles since last week. Manager Ryne Sandberg said Brown is recovering “slowly” from the injury and added that it “could be unlikely” that he will be ready for Opening Day, Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.
In the event Brown starts the season on the disabled list, the Phillies will likely carry Jeff Francoeur, Jordan Danks, or Brian Bogusevic on the 25-man roster. The Phillies’ starting outfield on Opening Day could include Ben Revere, Darin Ruf, and Rule 5 pick Odubel Herrera.
Brown, 27, was among baseball’s worst hitters last season, slashing .235/.285/.349 with 10 home runs and 63 RBI in 512 plate appearances.
As first reported by Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Cubs have avoided salary arbitration with outfielder Justin Ruggiano by reaching a one-year, $2 million contract for 2014. Ruggiano asked for $2.45 million and was offered $1.6 million when arbitration figures were exchanged earlier this month.
The Cubs acquired Ruggiano from the Marlins in early December for Brian Bogusevic and will use him as an active fourth outfielder this season.
Ruggiano, 31, batted .222/.298/.396 with 18 home runs and 15 stolen bases in 128 games last year for Miami. He hit .313/.374/.535 with 13 homers and 14 steals in 80 games for the Fish in 2012.
Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that the Marlins have traded outfielder Justin Ruggiano to the Cubs for outfielder Brian Bogusevic.
Ruggiano was pushed into extended action for the Marlins this year and struggled, hitting just .222 with a .694 OPS in 128 games, but if limited to a part-time role he’s capable of knocking around left-handed pitching. For his career Ruggiano has an .834 OPS versus lefties compared to a .700 OPS versus righties, so in Chicago a platoon with left-handed bats Nate Schierholtz or Ryan Sweeney makes sense.
Bogusevic is a former first-round pick, but that was all the way back in 2005 and he was drafted as a pitcher. Now he’s a 29-year-old outfielder and career .236 hitter with a .682 OPS in the majors. He did put up some big numbers at Triple-A this year, but the previous three seasons there were underwhelming.
The Pirates pulled another trick out of the bag tonight, hitting back-to-back-to-back home runs to erase a 3-0 deficit against Cubs starter Jake Arrieta. After Andrew McCutchen and Justin Morneau made two quick outs to start off the bottom of the fourth, Pedro Alvarez hit an inside-the-park home run to right-center. Russell Martin then cranked a solo shot out to left, and Garrett Jones followed with a homer to center, tying the game at 3-3.
Alvarez bumped his home run total up to 33, giving him a two-homer lead over Paul Goldschmidt at the top of the National League. Martin and Jones now sit with 14 apiece on the season.
Against Pirates starter Charlie Morton, the Cubs scored once in the second on an RBI ground out by Darwin Barney. They added two more in the fourth on a two-run home run by Brian Bogusevic.
The Pirates entered the night tied with the Cardinals at 85-61 in first place atop the NL Central. The Cardinals are hosting the Mariners. The third-place Reds, just 2.5 games behind, are in Milwaukee.