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Howard, Brown options to DH in Texas

Howard, Brown options to DH in Texas

PHILADELPHIA -- Ryan Howard and Domonic Brown could start at designated hitter during the Phillies' season-opening series against the Rangers, manager Ryne Sandberg indicated on Friday.

The Phillies open the regular season on Monday with a three-game Interleague series in Texas, where games will be played under American League rules. Sandberg said he's thinking about starting Howard at DH and playing John Mayberry Jr. at first base in one of the games. The manager also mentioned using Brown as his DH with Tony Gwynn Jr. in the outfield.

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"I'm first waiting to see the full roster, but I've got some options there," Sandberg said. "Ryan Howard would be in the mix for that, with Mayberry in the lineup. Tony Gwynn could play into that somewhere with Domonic Brown. There's some options there. Depending on the pitching, once I know their rotation, there's some options there."

Right-hander Tanner Scheppers will start for the Rangers on Opening Day, with left-handers scheduled to start on Tuesday and Wednesday. If Sandberg wants to stack the lineup with left-handed hitters against Scheppers, he could start Gwynn in left field and Brown at DH. It's conceivable Howard could be the DH on Tuesday and Wednesday, which would allow the right-handed-hitting Mayberry to be in the lineup at first base.

Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jalaymance. Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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