Results tagged ‘ Ben Francisco ’

Brown Has Successful Surgery

Domonic Brown had surgery on the fractured hook of the hamate bone in his right hand this morning.

Here is the latest from Phillies head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan:

  • Hand specialist Randall Culp performend the surgery in Philadelphia.
  • Culp removed the hamate.
  • Stitches are removed in 10 days.
  • Brown will be in a removable splint three to four weeks.
  • Sheridan said, “Normal return on a hamate excision is about four to six weeks. That return means back to playing full out in four to six weeks. The biggest issue he’s facing is how sensitive is the scar and how does he tolerate those kinds of progressions.”
  • Sheridan said when Brown returns to camp tomorrow he can return to cardio workouts immediately. After the stitches are removed, Brown can begin his progressions toward hitting. He said Brown will have to do “scar management” things to desensitize the area. “He really can’t begin hitting or anything towards that until probably about at least two weeks.”

A Phillies spokesman said Sheridan only would answer questions about Brown today, so he offered no update on Chase Utley. Utley is in camp today and took batting practice as normal.

Update: The Phillies scratched Ben Francisco from today’s lineup because of a sore neck. Francisco said it wasn’t serious.

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Brown Fractures Right Hand, Surgery Likely

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Domonic Brown‘s chances to win the everyday job in right field evaporated today when he fractured his right hand.

Surgery is likely, which would sideline him three to six weeks.

Brown fractured the hook of the hamate bone swinging at the first pitch in his first at-bat in the second inning against the Pirates at Bright House Field. He finished the at-bat, singling up the middle to end a 0-for-15 start to his Grapefruit League season. Brown left the game before the top of the third, returning to the clubhouse and leaving the ballpark quickly for an x-ray.

Brown will fly early next week to Philadelphia, where hand specialist Randall Culp will evaluate him. If the initial x-ray is accurate, surgery seems inevitable.

“Probably,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “We won’t know until it’s definitive. What the x-ray reveals right now is what is believed to be a fracture.”

Brown’s loss practically guarantees Ben Francisco will be the Opening Day rightfielder, although Amaro declared nobody a winner in those sweepstakes. Francisco, Brown and John Mayberry Jr. opened the spring as the top contenders to replace Jayson Werth. Brown struggled early as he tried to get comfortable with a new stance at the plate.

“Nobody has won our right field job, but Ben has done very, very well for us,” Amaro said.

Francisco went 2 for 3 with one double, one home run and one RBI against the Pirates. He is hitting .421 (8 for 19) with two doubles, one triple, two home runs and six RBIs in seven games this spring.

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Brown Is Struggling Early

The numbers are not pretty, but it’s early and Domonic Brown said he feels fine.

Well, he feels mostly fine.

“I’m just trying to feel comfortable,” he said today at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. “I’m just trying to stay with the same approach. I’ve been working all winter with it. It’s the first couple days I’m seeing pitches. I know it’s going to happen. I’m not stressing about anything.”

Brown is 0 for 9 with two walks and six strikeouts in three Grapefruit League games. He went 0 for 4 with one walk and two strikeouts today against the Blue Jays.

Brown has been working with his stance since the end of last season. He has tried to lower his hands, and he has not found the perfect spot yet. His held his hands much lower in the batter’s box Sunday against the New York Yankees at Bright House Field, where he went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts. He held his hands noticeably higher today, but still lower than they were last season when he played with the Phillies.

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First Full Squad Workout Today

As as I write this, Charlie Manuel is giving his speech to the 2011 Phillies.

He usually wings it, but players always seem to enjoy it.

Today is first full squad workout.

One thing from yesterday, which I neglected:

Asked how the pieces will fit in right field, Manuel said, “We’ve got some young guys that have a chance to make an impact. … Domonic Brown, definitely, he’s kind of the first choice there, but (Ben) Francisco and (John) Mayberry, I definitely want to play them a lot and see them and see where they fit on the team.”

Manuel later tried to clairfy.

“That job is up for grabs,” he said.

He said he simply plans on giving Brown plenty of at-bats this spring, but clearly the Phillies need another right-handed bat in the lineup. That’s why Francisco and Mayberry are in the mix.

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Phillies Add Grilli

The Phillies added another arm to their system with an agreement to a Minor League contract with right-hander Jason Grilli.

Grilli wrote Sunday on his Twitter account (@grillcheese49): “This Italian Stallion is FIRED UP about the City of Brother Love! Balboa workouts paid off and READY TO GO!!!”

Grilli is 18-18 with a 4.74 ERA in 238 appearances over eight seasons in the big leagues. He last pitched with the Colorado Rockies and Texas Rangers in 2009, when he went a combined 2-3 with a 5.32 ERA in 52 appearances. He did not pitch last year because of a knee injury.

Grilli will not be in big-league camp, which begins Feb. 14 in Clearwater, Fla. He will be in Minor League camp.

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Some contract details:

  • Kyle Kendrick. One-year, $2.45 million contract. Awards bonuses: $25,000 for All Star; $50,000 for World Series MVP; $25,000 for LCS MVP; $50,000 for Cy Young or Rolaids ($25,000-2nd; $15,000-3rd).
  • Ben Francisco. One-year, $1.175 million contract. Performance bonuses: $25,000 for 400 plate appearances; $25,000 for 450 plate appearances; $25,000 for 500 plate appearances. Awards bonuses: $25,000 for All Star; $50,000 for MVP ($25,000-2nd; $15,000-3rd); $50,000 for World Series MVP; $25,000 for LCS MVP; $25,000 for Gold Glove; and $25,000 for Silver Slugger.
  • Justin De Fratus. $33,600 in Minors; $414,000 in Majors.

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Francisco Avoids Salary Arbitration

Ben Francisco said last week he hoped to avoid salary arbitration with the Phillies.

He did just that today, when he agreed to a one-year $1.175 million contract. The deal includes performance and awards bonuses.

“We are pleased to have come to terms with Benny,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a statement. “Our goal in this process is to come to equitable deals. Benny, as we’ve stated, will have an opportunity to play more regularly in right field this year and I am looking forward to the competition beginning this spring.”

Amaro has told Francisco he has the opportunity to win the everyday job, although there is a chance the Phillies could use a platoon in right field with some combination of Francisco, Domonic Brown, Ross Gload and John Mayberry Jr. The Phillies at this time are not expected to bring in another outfielder to compete for the job.

“They feel like I can go out there and do great things,” Francisco said. “I want to go out there and show I can as well.”

Francisco had filed for salary arbitration Friday, which was a formality. Had the sides not agreed they would have exchanged figures Tuesday. They could have met in an arbitration hearing next month, which is no longer an issue.

That leaves right-hander Kyle Kendrick as the team’s only player eligible for salary arbitration.

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Francisco Is Ready to Go

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I spoke with Ben Francisco the other day, and I think the first question I asked is how aware he is that Phillies fans are intensely focused on how the Phillies are replacing Jayson Werth in right field? If you could total every Phillies blog, message board, Internet story, newspaper story and time on sports talk radio devoted to the Phillies’ offseason, Cliff Lee would be the No. 1 topic and Werth and right field would be No. 2.

Nothing else would come close.

Check out the story here to see what Francisco and Ruben Amaro Jr. had to say.

I’ve said many times I’m not overly concerned about right field. I know Amaro has downplayed Werth’s production, but despite a one-year blip with runners in scoring position (it was a very big blip) Werth has been one of the most productive hitters on the team the past few seasons. But I think some combination of Francisco, Domonic Brown, Ross Gload and John Mayberry Jr. could work.

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Manuel on Brown, Werth and More

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Charlie Manuel had a formal interview session this afternoon at the Winter Meetings.

Here are a few highlights:

On Domonic Brown possibly being better served playing in Triple-A: “I think Spring Training is going to be big for him. … We kept him on our roster because we felt like at that time he might be able to come off the bench and help us. He definitely didn’t finish the way we wanted him to, but that wasn’t all his fault. I just saw they took him out of Winter Ball. I’m not worried about that. I’m not worried about him getting off to a bad start. There have been a lot of players who have gone to Winter Ball, and there are a lot of players who haven’t done well and sent home. Spring Training is going to be real big for him. I think we’re going to get a lot of work in with him. I think GG and myself, we’re going to work with him some. He’s going to get to play a lot. We can work with his game. … I definitely think he deserves a good chance, and he’s going to get it. I’m not ready to send him to the Minor Leagues yet. I’m not ready to say this guy is going to the Minor Leagues. I want to take a good look at him.”

On Ruben Amaro Jr. saying the bullpen is the top priority: “I think he’s definitely right. I agree with that. We could use a lefty in the pen, but I’d rather have the best pitcher we can find.”

On Ryan Howard showing more power next season: “It wasn’t a Ryan Howard year, but I look for Ryan to come back and have a big year. I look at Ryan as a 40-50 home run guy and about 125 to 140 RBIs. That’s kind of who he is. The fact that he hit 31, knocked in 108 or something. He finished the season with a bad ankle. I’m not making any excuses, we don’t use excuses, but I feel like that was his back side. He was not using his legs at the end of the year. When he came back he didn’t use his legs at all.”

On Jimmy Rollins bouncing back after struggling in recent seasons: “Before the season was over I talked to Jimmy a few times about his season and what he’s going to do. He knows exactly what he has to do and where he’s at from a conditioning standpoint, taking care of himself. He revealed to me that he wanted to play another six years. We talked about things that he had to do, and I told him how he’s got to go about it. We’ll see. Jimmy Rollins is a very talented player. We need him to have a Jimmy Rollins year. That’s all.”

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Winter Meetings: Day 1 (So Far)

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A few things from Day 1 of the Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.:

  • Ruben Amaro Jr. said he does not believe the Phillies must find a right-handed-hitting outfielder to replace Jayson Werth. But outfielders to watch include free agents Scott Hairston and Matt Diaz. Diaz’s agent Larry Reynolds said he is receiving plenty of interest on Diaz, who could sign with a team before the conclusion of the meetings. He declined to say how interested the Phillies might be.
  • There has been a buzz at the Winter Meetings the Phillies had focused on free agent outfielder Jeff Francoeur, but sources said the Phillies are not seriously pursuing him.
  • Aaron Rowand is available in a trade, but the San Francisco Giants probably would need to pay a substantial portion of his salary to make it happen.
  • Interestingly, Amaro spoke of a potential platoon in right field involving Ben Francisco and Ross Gload - not mentioning Domonic Brown, who hit just .069 in nine Dominican Winter Ball games before returning home last week. Asked if he would prefer Brown to play every day than split time in the big leagues, Amaro said, “If we had our druthers we’d rather put Domonic in a position to get the at-bats that he kind of lost last year and prepare himself to improve his outfield play, base running, etc. In a perfect world, we don’t need Domonic to make our club, unless he really pushes us, unless he shows us in Spring Training that he’s ready to take that next step.”
  • The Los Angeles Times reported the Phillies could be interested in Angels outfielder Juan Rivera, which would make sense. The Phillies have liked him in the past, although Rivera struggled last season with just a .746 OPS against left-handed pitchers.

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Werth $126 Million; Now What?

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Jayson Werth wore black to an October news conference at Citizens Bank Park.

The color of clothing proved prophetic.

Werth, who had become a fan favorite during four successful seasons with the Phillies, spoke like a man who knew his time in Philadelphia had come to an end. It officially ended today, when he signed a colossal seven-year, $126 million contract with the Washington Nationals. MLB.com first reported the impending deal. CSNPhilly.com reported the Phillies offered Werth a three-year contract with an average annual value of $16 million and an option for a fourth year.

A source told MLB.com the vesting option would have increased the value of the contract to $60 million.

Even if the option had vested for the 2014 season, the Nationals offered $66 million more than the Phillies with an average annual value of $18 million.

The Phillies never had a chance.

“We felt that we offered him a significant contract such that we had a chance to bring him back,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said tonight at the Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. “But clearly, at the end of the day it was about trying to get the best contract he could and I think he did.”

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