A CT scan taken of Rhys Hoskins’ jaw revealed a fracture that will likely send the slugger to the disabled list, writes Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia. Hoskins, who fouled a ball into his jaw Monday, is headed back to Philadelphia for further examination by an oral surgeon to determine whether he’ll require surgery or simply just rest and rehab. Salisbury’s colleague, Corey Seidman, writes that the Phillies look poised to recall prospect Dylan Cozens from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to replace Hoskins on the active roster.
Hoskins, 25, took the NL by storm in an explosive rookie season last year, hitting .259/.396/.618 with 18 homers and seven doubles in just 212 trips to the plate. His 2018 work has been solid but diminished, as he’s currently sporting a .233/.363/.415 slash with six homers in 216 PAs with a considerably higher strikeout rate (21.7 percent in 2017, 28.2 percent in 2018).
With Hoskins out of action for the time being, the Phils will likely turn to Nick Williams, Odubel Herrera and Aaron Altherr as their primary outfield contingent, though Cozens will surely be dropped into the mix as well. It’s not clear how long Hoskins would be out in either the surgical or non-surgical route of treatment just yet, but manager Gabe Kapler did call a trip to the disabled list likely.
For the 23-year-old Cozens, this’ll represent the first call to the Majors. The 2012 second-round pick has long been considered to be among the Phillies’ top farmhands, but his star has dimmed a bit in recent seasons. Cozens had no trouble with Class-A Advanced pitching (.282/.335/.411) and utterly obliterated Double-A pitchers at the age of 22 (.282/.352/.594), but he faceplanted with a .210/.301/.418 slash in 542 Triple-A PAs last season.
More troubling was Cozens’ 35.8 percent strikeout rate in Lehigh Valley last year, and while his overall batting line has improved to .228/.323/.432, his strikeout rate is up to 38.3 percent. Cozens has walked in 11 percent of his plate appearances in Triple-A, helping to salvage a decent OBP, but his contact issues do present concern about how he’ll handle MLB pitching. As Seidman notes, though, the left-handed-hitting Cozens has been markedly better against right-handed pitching and does have a 40-homer season on his resume in the minors, so he’ll likely be utilized in a platoon capacity in his first stint with the Phils.