Phillies Notes: Brown continues his struggle at the plate

Domonic Brown goes down swinging. He is 0 for 12 with eight strikeouts this spring,but said he is not worried.
Domonic Brown goes down swinging. He is 0 for 12 with eight strikeouts this spring,but said he is not worried.
Posted: March 02, 2011

CLEARWATER, Fla. - After another hitless day, Domonic Brown spent about 20 minutes signing autographs down the left field line at Bright House Field. He came into the Phillies clubhouse and a group of reporters hovered over him like a dark cloud.

"Don't let them do it!" Shane Victorino yelled. "You're only four games into it."

Brown, now 0 for 12 with eight strikeouts this spring after striking out twice in the Phillies' 6-2 loss Tuesday, laughed it off. The future is not forsaken yet.

"I'm just trying to get comfortable," Brown said. "I wouldn't say I'm having a tough time. The results are not there, but I'm not really worried about that right now."

For the last two games, Brown's hands have been higher than they were in his batting stance to start the spring. They are still lower than they were at the end of last season, but the rookie continues to tinker with hitting coach Greg Gross. They looked at video of early spring at-bats and decided his hands were too low.

"I got up there and had my hands down like Sammy Sosa and that's just not the kind of hitter I am," the 23-year-old rightfielder said.

Brown said he thinks he's just a little late on pitches. Manager Charlie Manuel said Brown is close and he just needs to relax. Whatever the case, it hasn't worked yet.

"I'm not pressing or anything like that," Brown said. "It's just going to take time. I know the results will come. If they send me to triple A, I go to triple A. But it's too early to discuss that right now."

No running for Utley

Chase Utley has not progressed to running or fielding yet. Manuel downplayed Utley's need for at-bats now, which raises the question of whether his patellar tendinitis may sideline him for a significant part of spring training.

"As long as we can have him healthy and ready to play on opening day, that's kind of how it is," Manuel said. "I want to get him some at-bats, but getting him 100 percent and well is the most important thing."

Manuel said head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan told him Utley is "coming along fine."

"He's hitting," Manuel said. "He's moving around. No, he's not running hard."

Manuel's contract

Pat Rooney, the agent for Manuel, met with Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. on Tuesday to discuss Manuel's contract extension, according to Rooney reportedly was hopeful that something would get done before the season begins. Manuel's contract expires after this season.

The meeting could be a sign an agreement is nearing. Manuel issued a statement and declined to take questions Tuesday afternoon.

"Ruben and Pat are working toward a resolution," Manuel said.

Rooney did not return multiple requests for comment.

Extra bases

Danys Baez allowed a hard-hit double in the eighth but pitched a scoreless inning in his Grapefruit League debut. . . . Pitching coach Rich Dubee said there were no guarantees that Matt Anderson would appear in another major-league game this spring. Anderson is on the taxi squad that pitches only if the scheduled pitchers reach their pitch counts earlier than expected. "We've got commitments to the guys in our camp," Dubee said, "and they are going to get the first innings, for sure." . . . Roy Oswalt makes his spring debut Wednesday against Baltimore.

Phillies Notes:

Domonic Brown continues to struggle at the plate. D6.