Phillies Notes: Phillies' goal for Domonic Brown: Get comfortable

Domonic Brown (left) congratulates Placido Polanco and Raul Ibanez as they score in the first inning against Florida State.
Domonic Brown (left) congratulates Placido Polanco and Raul Ibanez as they score in the first inning against Florida State.
Posted: February 25, 2011

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Domonic Brown signed a few final autographs along the left-field line and took cover in the clubhouse tunnel.

"Man, I'm hungry," he said.

Brown was the last Phillies starter to leave Thursday's 8-0 exhibition victory over Florida State. He was 1 for 3 with a single and scored a run in six innings of play.

Manager Charlie Manuel's plan is to play Brown a lot this spring, and games against college kids are no exception.

"Charlie already told me I'm going to be getting three, four at-bats a game," Brown said. "That's a little odd in spring training, but they want me to get comfortable. I'm going to take it and make the best of it."

The Phillies want Brown to stay in games as long as possible so he can gain experience in the field. In the first inning, Brown misjudged a fly ball to short right and charged in to make up for a bad first step, but the ball still popped out of his glove.

Manuel said Brown simply needs more time to improve his routes.

"That's kind of been one of my concerns, and Ruben's," Manuel said, referring to general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. "We've talked a few times about that, but at the same time, if we throw them out there, we'll get a good read on them. . . . We want a guy that can catch the ball, but we also want a guy that can hit."

Utley sore

Manuel said he did not know whether Chase Utley would play in any games this weekend because the second baseman was sore from his initial workouts.

The manager downplayed the situation, saying it was his decision to sit Utley. Manuel said players usually go through periods of soreness twice in the spring.

"He's definitely not injured," Manuel said. "He's fine. He'll be out there next week."

Durbin unlikely

Chad Durbin may have found his major-league deal. The former Phillie is in negotiations with Cleveland, according to an report. Durbin has left the door open to a return with the Phillies on a minor-league deal, but that's only if he cannot find a guaranteed deal elsewhere.

Extra bases

Florida State had just four hits against seven Phillies pitchers. . . . Non-roster invitee Jeff Larish struggled at third base in the exhibition opener. He made one error and misplayed another ball. . . . Michael Stutes struck out the side while allowing a hit in the sixth inning. . . . The Phillies' minor-leaguers will play an exhibition game against the Netherlands national team at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg on March 13. . . . Friday is the annual Bill Giles golf tournament, which will be played after a shortened morning workout.

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