CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Remain calm, all is well.
Phillies second baseman Chase Utley was scratched from Tuesday's lineup just minutes before a 4-3 victory over the Yankees in a Grapefruit League game at Bright House Field. Hearts skipped a beat in the Delaware Valley, as Utley has missed the previous two springs because of chronically injured knees.
But it wasn't an injury that removed Utley from the lineup. It was wet field conditions.
The field received a ton of rain before the game and the infield tarp was dumped in shallow right field, which is where Utley might have had to chase down a pop fly. So Phillies manager Charlie Manuel decided to play things safe and sit him. Kevin Frandsen started at second base instead.
Told he gave folks a scare, Manuel said, "What's new? I give them a scare all the time. Knee jerk. Chicken Little. The world is coming to an end. I see it every day. You know? How many games have we played? I see it all the time, even when you win."
Dominating start could see Brown start for Phils
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Domonic Brown assessed the first 492 plate appearances of his Phillies career like this Tuesday afternoon at Bright House Field:
"That stuff I've been doing in the big leagues -- that's not acceptable in my eyes."
That stuff he has been doing in the team's first four Grapefruit League games? That could earn him a starting job in the Phillies' outfield.
Brown crushed a solo home run over the batter's eye in center field in the seventh inning of Tuesday's 4-3 victory over the Yankees at Bright House Field. Brown is hitting .429 (3-for-7) with two home runs, two RBIs and one strikeout this spring.
Brown said he has added 10 pounds of muscle, which might be why he is showing a little more power at the plate.
"[I'm] eating better," he said. "I'm getting better checks, so I can eat better. It feels good to be healthy again. … Lot of core and legs this winter because of the knee injury. I think I'm stronger down there, and that might be why I have a pretty good base."
Brown is going to get every opportunity to win a job this spring, especially with Delmon Young expected to open the season on the disabled list. Brown has taken advantage of the opportunity to this point.
"What you see is what he can do," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "His swing is more fluid and compact. It's more explosive."
And Manuel thinks if Brown can just find that consistency he has lacked in the big leagues, he could fulfill the potential that made him an untradeable prospect in the past.
The manager thinks Brown could become a game changer in the Phillies' lineup.
"He's that kind of guy," Manuel said. "Yeah, he is. Without a doubt, when you see him hit balls like that in the last three or four days. He's swung the bat good. When I see him rip balls to right field, balls inside, it shows he's strong. He's got quick hands. He's getting through the ball."
Said Brown: "I'm just keeping it simple. Just going up there and making sure my approach is good. I'm seeing the ball well and trying to swing at strikes. I wouldn't say I've changed my approach, just fine tuning. That's it. … I'm making sure I'm going out there and working hard and not putting pressure on myself, and having fun and doing it because I want to do it like [Manuel] always says. I'm out there because I want to do it, not because they're forcing me to do it."
• Mike Adams is ready to take the mound. The Phillies right-hander said Tuesday he will make his Grapefruit League debut Thursday against the Braves at Bright House Field. The Phillies said early in camp they would bring along Adams slowly following thoracic outlet syndrome surgery in October. But Adams has been progressing well, and they decided he is ready to go.
• Prospects Cody Asche and Tommy Joseph had a nice afternoon. Asche went 1-for-3 with a double, and Joseph hit a two-run home run into the tiki bar in the seventh inning. "That's good, real good," Manuel said. "I like Asche. He looks good. He's got a quick bat. Also, I see a kid that likes to play. He's got a lot of determination. … Joseph hit his [homer] good, too. He put a good swing on it."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.