BRADENTON, Fla. - The Phillies' Grapefruit League game Monday was the team's 11th straight without rightfielder Domonic Brown, who remains sidelined with a sore left Achilles tendon. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said it is likely that Brown will begin the season on the disabled list.
Finding Brown's replacement will be one of the team's main priorities in the final week of spring training. Their options appear to be Brian Bogusevic, Jeff Francoeur, Jordan Danks, and Russ Canzler. The four combined to go 0 for 16 Monday in an 18-4 loss to Pittsburgh.
Amaro said Darin Ruf, who played 52 games last season, is not a lock to make the team. He said Ruf is not a natural outfielder and the team is trying to utilize speed at the top of the order with the addition of centerfielder Odubel Herrera.
"Ruf can break in and get as many at-bats as he wants if he produces," Amaro said. "He'll get some chances to play, I think. But again, we're still in flux as to who's going to make our club. Guys are still battling for jobs."
Bogusevic leads Phillies outfielders with three home runs this spring. He has 11 hits in 36 at-bats. Francoeur has one hit in his last 18 at-bats. Amaro said Francoeur does not have an opt-out clause in his contract, which means the team could stash him in the minors and bring him up when needed.
Danks, who got off to a hot start, is hitless in his last seven at-bats. He has a minor-league option remaining, which could mean he starts the season at triple-A Lehigh Valley. Canzler had recorded a hit in his last five games before going hitless Tuesday.
"That will affect the configuration of our overall club," Amaro said. "And the beauty of the club, whoever that is, we're going to be able to shuffle guys back and forth. If a guy isn't performing at the major-league level, some guys have shown well enough that they can come in."
As the team tries to piece together right field, left and center field appear to be solidified. Ben Revere has moved to left to make room for Herrera in center.
Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg was not pleased with the lopsided loss to the Pirates.
"Unacceptable game," he said. "Hitting, defense and pitching. We pitched up in the zone. Our bats didn't hit on a good day to hit and we didn't play good defense. So unacceptable game, all phases of the game."
The Phillies' top candidates to replace Domonic Brown in right field, in order of probability:
Brian Bogusevich (age 31)
Jeff Francoeur (31)
Jordan Danks (28)
Russ Canzler (28)
- Matt Breen