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Ryno thinks Brown needs more at-bats

Domonic Brown's rehab assignment is set to end on Tuesday. He told reporters on Sunday that he'd be joining the Phillies in St. Louis on Wednesday. Not so fast, Ryne Sandberg said of the struggling outfielder.

Domonic Brown hasn't seen his name in a major league lineup since March 19, when the Phillies played an exhibition game under the lights in Tampa against the New York Yankees.

Brown left that game early with left Achilles' soreness. But after beginning an official rehab assignment three weeks ago, Brown told reporters in Lehigh Valley on Sunday he'd be back with the Phillies on Wednesday in St. Louis.

"I got two more days and then I go back up," Brown said. "(Monday) and Tuesday and then I'll be going up. I'm excited."

Not so fast, Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said a day later, when the Phillies arrived to Busch Stadium.

"We haven't had official conversations about him," Sandberg said before the Phillies took batting practice on Monday. "But, uh, from what I've seen, I don't know that he's ready for major league pitching, or to come up and really give us some punch with the way things have gone for him there. So, that's, we'll have more conversations with tomorrow being his last day on the rehab assignment."

Brown is just 4-for-31 (.129) in 8 games with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs. In 14 games between the Pigs and Class A Clearwater, Brown has hit .188 on his rehab assignment.

Sandberg seems to think Brown is still in the process of making up for the lost at-bats he missed in the last 3 weeks of spring training.

"Maybe it's just not enough at-bats," Sandberg said. "He's had some fly ball outs. He just hasn't connected and hasn't hit for average that you'd like to see."

The 27-year-old Brown, an All-Star two years ago, hit just .235 with 10 home runs and a .634 OPS in 144 games with the Phillies last season. Sandberg was asked if he thought it maybe wasn't a good idea for a player to be announcing roster moves that haven't been decided.

"Unless he's player-slash-GM," Sandberg said.

Brown does have a minor league option, so the Phillies could activate him from the DL following Lehigh Valley's game tomorrow, which would mark the 20th day of his rehab assignment, and then reassign him to Triple-A.

"Well we'll see, that's what the conversations will be about, what's next for him," Sandberg said. "There are some different possibilities."