Domonic Brown unlikely to be ready for Opening Day

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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.

Athletics designate Fernando Rodney

Fernando Rodney
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Veteran reliever Fernando Rodney has been designated for assignment, the Athletics announced Saturday. In a corresponding move, the club selected the contract of lefty reliever Wei-Chung Wang from Triple-A Las Vegas.

Rodney, 42, struggled to find his footing at the start of his second season with the A’s. He appeared in 17 games this spring, but harbored an unsightly 9.42 ERA during the span of just 14 1/3 innings, flanked by an equally disheartening 7.5 BB/9 against his 8.8 SO/9. While the right-hander isn’t far removed from his last productive campaign in the majors — as evidenced by the cumulative 3.36 ERA and 25 saves he delivered for the Twins and A’s in 2018 — the club evidently felt ready to take things in a different direction this season.

It’s still unclear whether this will mark the end of Rodney’s time in Major League Baseball; if so, he’ll finish a 17-year track in the majors with three All-Star designations, 908 career strikeouts, and 325 career saves (best among all active pitchers and 18th-best overall).

Without Rodney, the Athletics will look to former Brewers reliever Wang to bolster a bullpen that currently ranks fifth-best in the American League. The 27-year-old lefty hasn’t stepped on a major-league mound since 2017, but recently impressed in Triple-A after inking a minors contract with the team in February. He holds a 3.75 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, and 8.3 SO/9 through his first 24 innings with the organization.