The rebuilding Phillies suffered a significant loss today, announcing that oufielder Aaron Altherr requires wrist surgery and will be sidelined for four to six months. Altherr’s surgery will repair a torn extensor carpi ulnaris retinaculum in his left wrist and will be performed tomorrow by Dr. Randall Culp. Altherr reportedly suffered the injury making a diving play back on March 4, though his initial belief was that this injury wasn’t as serious as a previous wrist injury that required surgery in 2013.
The 25-year-old Altherr figured to receive everyday at-bats (or close to it) in Philadelphia on the heels of a solid rookie campaign in which he batted .241/.338/.489 in 161 trips to the plate. Altherr racked up 11 doubles, four triples and five homers in addition to six steals in his brief time with the Phils, flashing the extra-base power and speed that made him one of the organization’s more intriguing prospects. Between that success and the .293/.367/.487 batting line authored by Altherr between Double-A and Triple-A last year, the German-born outfielder had little to prove in the minor leagues.
With Altherr now spending the bulk, if not the entirety of the season on the disabled list, the door is open for Rule 5 pick Tyler Goeddel to make the club and carve out a role with the team. The Phillies also have sophomore Odubel Herrera (a Rule 5 pick himself a year ago) in the mix after his own strong rookie season. Veteran Peter Bourjos and former top prospect Cody Asche are both options for manager Pete Mackanin, too, though each will need to rebuild his stock after a poor showing in 2015.