Phillies' Brown fractures hand; surgery likely

Phillies' Brown fractures hand; surgery likely

Phillies' Brown fractures hand; surgery likely
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown's chances to win the everyday job in right field evaporated Saturday, 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 Pittsburgh 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.

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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," Phillies general manager 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 was unavailable to comment.

"I talked to him a couple minutes ago," Amaro said. "He didn't sound all that great, but it's part of the game."

Brown's loss practically guarantees Ben Francisco will be the Opening Day right fielder, 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.

"He's looking pretty good, isn't he?" Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.

Mayberry, who replaced Brown in right field Saturday, is hitting .294 (5-for-17) with one double, one home run and one RBI in seven games.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.