When he arrived at the ballpark on Tuesday, Domonic Brown sought out Juan Samuel. When Brown returned to the majors, Samuel had promised him the two would resume their regular outfield instruction from spring training whenever the outfielder had some free time.
Samuel, the Phillies' third-base coach, said he does not want to add an overwhelming amount to the 23-year-old's plate as he attempts to carve a spot in manager Charlie Manuel's regular lineup. But Brown wanted extra work Tuesday even though Samuel had not planned any.
"You're playing," Samuel told Brown. "I don't want to kill you."
"Let's go," Brown said.
"All right," Samuel said, "I'm always ready to work."
And so at 3:16 p.m., the two walked out to right field and had bullpen catcher Jesus Tiamo hit some ground balls to the outfield grass. Samuel had identified Brown as a work in progress defensively in the spring, and the broken bone in his right hand had limited Samuel's tutelage.
Samuel has pinpointed two areas in which Brown can improve - the way he charges balls and the angles he takes on balls hit over his head.
Brown charged a few balls in right with Samuel watching by his side. A couple of times, Brown's glove came up without a ball in it.
"Right now, he's thinking about it," Samuel said. "I want to get him to the point where it becomes natural."
The two worked for about 10 minutes Tuesday. It is all part of the catch-up process from the time lost in spring training.
Later, the lessons will turn to managing game situations, but Samuel said he does not want to throw too much at the rookie now.
He has high praise for Brown's willingness to learn.
"That's something I like about him," Samuel said. "Since day one in spring training, he told me, 'I need work.' "
Brown committed an error in the fifth inning Tuesday.
In what was likely his final rehabilitation outing, righthander Jose Contreras (elbow) allowed only two singles in two innings for triple-A Lehigh Valley. He threw 14 of his 20 pitches for strikes and deemed himself ready after returning to Citizens Bank Park later in the day.
The only question is whether Contreras will be activated Wednesday or Thursday.
Ross Gload, the team's best pinch-hitter, was unavailable Tuesday because of an issue with his hip, as Manuel described it. Manuel revealed the injury when he was asked why he used Michael Martinez to pinch-hit in the ninth. The manager said Gload has been "taking treatment on his hip." The team did not offer any further update on Gload's status.
General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said centerfielder Shane Victorino (right hamstring) definitely will need a minor-league rehab assignment, possibly beginning this weekend, before coming back. Victorino is eligible to return June 3. . . . Righthander Joe Blanton (elbow) will see orthopedic surgeon James Andrews on Wednesday for a second opinion. . . . Outfield prospect Tyson Gillies has yet to play in a game this season, but he is nearing a return. Gillies has been tormented by hamstring problems for almost a calendar year. He has seen a specialist in Nebraska twice and could play in extended-spring-training games within a week, Amaro said.