Phillies Notebook: Brown aching to return to field

RON CORTES / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Jimmy Rollins avoids the Braves' Dan Uggla to turn a doubleplay in the seventh inning.
RON CORTES / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Jimmy Rollins avoids the Braves' Dan Uggla to turn a doubleplay in the seventh inning.
Posted: September 10, 2013

THE SUNDAY morning clubhouse was abuzz, not just with the Phillies feeling good in the morning after a walkoff win, with the chance for a sweep at hand, but also with a keen interest in the start of the NFL season.

Some players wore jerseys - yes, even Dallas Cowboys threads - and others had t-shirts of their favorite teams adorning their lockers. Domonic Brown fell in line with the rest of his teammates, but appeared particularly antsy.

As players milled about, moving from their seats to the batting cages to the field, Brown bounced around looking for something to do other than watch the pregame NFL shows blaring on the flatscreen TVs.

"I'm getting tired of just sitting here and not doing [anything], to be honest with you," Brown said. "It's tough watching [our] games. Especially when I feel like I can still go out there and do something, you know?"

Brown was out of the starting lineup for the 13th time in the last 15 games with right Achilles' soreness. Although he's feeling better, Brown hasn't appeared in a game since pinch-hitting on Sept. 1 in Chicago.

Brown said he is scheduled to start baseball activities tomorrow, when the Phils return from today's off day. When can he expect to be back on the field?

"It's up to them, really," Brown said, referring to management and the team medical staff. "I have to work my way back into baseball stuff, I'm guessing that'll take 4-5 days, maybe a week."

Although just 3 weeks remain in the season, Brown said there hasn't been any talk of shutting him down for good.

"I want to at least be able to play a week or 2," he said.

But Brown also understands the importance of practicing caution. Ryan Howard is almost 2 years removed from Achilles' surgery has played in two half seasons since.

"You don't want to risk anything, we've seen what happened to Howie," Brown said. "It's a tough injury. You can't mess around with it. And I've had two of those this year. My Achilles' and my head."

After playing in 95 out of a possible 96 games heading into the All-Star break, when he took part in his first career All-Star game, Brown has missed a combined 19 games with his concussion symptoms and Achilles' soreness.

In 123 games this season, Brown has team highs in home runs (27), RBI (81) and OPS (.833). Despite missing time, Brown still ranks third in the National League in home runs, trailing Pittsburgh's Pedro Alvarez (32) and Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt (31).

Jonathan Papelbon, who had pitched in three of the previous four games, was unavailable yesterday. So with the game tied and the ninth inning imminent, bullpen coach Rod Nichols told B.J. Rosenberg to warm up.

But then Darin Ruf hit a home run to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead, making the pitching assignment a save situation.

"Am I still in?" Rosenberg asked Nichols.

Rosenberg, who spent most of the season in Triple A, received the answer he wanted to hear and went to work in preparing for his first big-league save. The 27-year-old righthander converted it without a problem.

Facing the top three hitters in Atlanta's lineup - B.J. Upton, Andrelton Simmons and Freddie Freeman - Rosenberg pitched a 1-2-3 inning to seal the Phillies' three-game sweep. He blew a 95 mph fastball by Freeman to end the game.

"It was pretty cool, with the crowd going crazy there," Rosenberg said. "Two strikes and two outs, trying to stay within myself and control my emotions and stuff. It was definitely exciting."

"He earned that spot there today," manager Ryne Sandberg said. "He came through big time with great stuff."

Rosenberg hasn't allowed a run in 11 games since rejoining the Phillies from Triple A Lehigh Valley last month. He has struck out 10, walked three and held opponents to a .118 (4-for-34) average.

"I always thought he was great - it was just a matter of time," starting pitcher Cole Hamels said. "He's confident he's a big-league pitcher now and it's showing."

Phillers

Freddy Galvis' game-winning home run was his fifth of the season and second of the walkoff variety. Galvis has five home runs in 166 at-bats this season, while starting shortstop Jimmy Rollins has five homers in 527 at-bats . . . Cole Hamels has pitched five or more innings in 72 consecutive starts, which is the longest active streak in the major leagues . . . Tyler Cloyd (2-3, 3.57) will make his first start since replacing Ethan Martin in the rotation when the Phillies start the three-game series against the San Diego Padres at Citizens Bank Park. Cloyd will pitch opposite San Diego righthander Andrew Cashner (8-8, 3.45) . . . Roy Halladay (3-4, 7.19) was pushed back a day, to Wednesday, after battling an illness heading into the weekend. Halladay will be opposed by lefthander Eric Stults (8-13, 4.07). Cliff Lee (12-6, 3.01) pitches in the homestand's finale on Thursday against righthander Tyson Ross (3-7, 2.79).


On Twitter: @ryanlawrence21

Blog: ph.ly/HighCheese

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