Brown will no longer fiddle with hand placement

Brown will no longer fiddle with hand placement

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Before outfielder Domonic Brown broke his right hand fouling off a pitch on Saturday, he made a big change.

He held his hands high in the batter's box.

Brown had been fiddling with the positioning of his hands since before Spring Training started. He lowered them because the Phillies felt it would shorten his swing and allow him to better handle certain pitches, but he never felt comfortable, and the positioning changed from game to game, occasionally from at-bat to at-bat. He went hitless with nine strikeouts in his first 15 Grapefruit League at-bats before singling up the middle on Saturday.

"I just said, 'Forget it. I'm going back to what got me here,' " Brown said on Thursday morning at Bright House Field.

It just so happened that was the at-bat in which Brown fractured the hook of the hamate, ending his Spring Training and necessitating Tuesday surgery in Philadelphia.

Brown, whose hand is in a cast, could be back on the field in four to six weeks.

His hands will remain high upon his return.

"That's the key for me," Brown said. "The other thing did not work with the hands down. That's going to take time, and I really don't have time to spare like that, especially coming from winter ball. I didn't have enough time to prepare myself with the lower hand angle."

Brown sounded confident that he will return to his prior ways once he is healthy. He received an enormous amount of attention this spring, as he is one of the top prospects in baseball and fighting for a job in right field, where the Phillies are trying to replace Jayson Werth.

He handled the attention well.

"As long as I'm doing the right things on and off the field, I'm good," he said. "I just wanted to get comfortable again."

Brown will get comfortable in Triple-A Lehigh Valley, where he will start the season.

"Hey, that's no problem," he said. "We'll go to Triple-A. Like I've said always, I'm only 23 years old."