03/06/11 1:14 PM ET
Brown heads to Philly to confirm fracture
If specialist concurs, outfielder will have surgery on Tuesday
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
He arrived early Sunday morning at Bright House Field, gathering a few things and talking to a few people before leaving the ballpark a little after 8 a.m. ET to catch his flight. Brown fractured the hook of the hamate bone fouling off a pitch in the second inning Saturday in a game against the Pirates.
The break likely means surgery, which the Phillies said could sideline him four to six weeks. Hand specialist Randall Culp will examine Brown's hand Monday in Philadelphia. If he concurs with the initial X-rays taken in Clearwater, which showed a fracture, Brown is scheduled to have surgery Tuesday.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said the injury is common among hitters. He said a few Minor Leaguers in the Phils system recently had the surgery.
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Jayson Werth's likely successor in right field also had it.
Ben Francisco said he broke the same bone in his left hand in 2003, when he played for Class A Lake County. He had the surgery March 27, and was activated to play June 1.
"It's tough," Francisco said of Brown's injury. "I'm sure he'll come back strong from surgery."
Francisco said he has not suffered any ill effects from the injury after surgery.
"Probably half the guys in the big leagues have had it," he said. "It's a pretty common injury. It just happens."
Francisco entered the spring as the favorite to replace Werth in right field, and he has done nothing to change it. He entered Sunday hitting .421 (8-for-19) with two doubles, one triple, two home runs and six RBIs in seven games this spring.
While nobody has said Francisco has won the job in right field, it would take something drastic for that not to happen. John Mayberry Jr. also is competing for the job. He has had a good spring, hitting .294 (5-for-17) with one double, one home run and one RBI in seven games. He is in line for a reserve outfield job.
"I feel good," Francisco said of his hot start. "I worked hard in the offseason. It's nice to have these early results, but I'm still working to get better."
Brown was hitless in his first 15 Grapefruit League at-bats before singling in the at-bat when he broke his hand. Brown could have been pressing at the plate as he tried to get comfortable with his swing, which he had been adjusting.
"He wasn't in his rhythm," Amaro said. "I talked to the kid and he felt very confident about things. He was just upset that he has the injury, and anybody would. I think he's OK."
Amaro reiterated the Phillies will not make a move to fill a hole on their roster. They have Francisco, Mayberry, Ross Gload, Delwyn Young and others in camp who can play right field.
"I think we have the talent here in this camp to be able to handle that," Amaro said.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.