Phillies outfielder Aaron Altherr has been diagnosed with a torn ligament in his big toe, per Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia (via Twitter). He suffered the injury on Monday when crashing face-first into the left field wall while chasing a ball that ultimately cleared the fence. The Phillies were optimistic about Altherr coming into the season after a .272/.340/.510 showing in 2017, but he struggled out of the gate with -0.7 fWAR before being sent back to AAA in July. The injury may factor in to some extent to the Phils’ decisionmaking process this offseason, when Altherr reaches arbitration for the first time. Altherr has struggled with consistency and health across three seasons in the majors, but this year set the low-water mark as he closes out the 2018 campaign with an ugly slash line of .181/.295/.333 over 285 plate appearance. Philly could non-tender him in November; conversely, he’s unlikely to break the bank the first time through arbitration, and with money to spend, Philadelphia may prefer staying the course to see if the 27-year-old can regain the pop he flashed in 2017.
In other injury news around the league…
- Astros star Carlos Correa will be ready to DH tomorrow night after taking 30-40 swings today, per the Athletic’s Jake Kaplan via Twitter. Houston skipper A.J. Hinch will be looking to see “freedom in his swing,” according to Kaplan. Getting Correa healthy is surely a priority for the Astros as they prepare to defend their World Series title, starting with a matchup against the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS. Battling through back troubles for much of the year, Correa owns only a .238/.323/.400 slash on the season. When he’s right, though, Correa is a game-changer.
- On another playoff-related injury note, the Yankees received good news today from an MRI on Aaron Hicks’ hamstring. The outfielder has been cleared of a tear, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com was among those to tweet. Manager Aaron Boone still plans to rest Hicks for a few days. Certainly, with Didi Gregorius tearing cartilage in his wrist, the Yanks would like to avoid any more injuries leading up to the AL Wild Card game against Oakland. Hicks has proven himself an important, if undervalued piece of the Yankees outfield, hitting .247/.368/.465 on the year with a 15.8% walk rate and a career-high 26 dingers.
- Meanwhile, it seems the Cubs avoided a truly worrying injury to Kris Bryant. He exited with a wrist injury after being hit by a pitch, but was cleared of a fracture, as ESPN.com’s Jesse Rogers was among those to tweet. In further wrist news with NL playoff implications, the Braves are still awaiting further news on shortstop Dansby Swanson after he was pulled from today’s game for precautionary reasons, as David O’Brien of The Athletic tweets.
- In decidedly non-playoff-related injury news, Orioles pitching prospect Hunter Harvey was cleared of structural damage in his right elbow after being examined recently. Still, the Orioles will keep their former first-round pick out of the Arizona Fall League, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports. Harvey has dealt with ongoing arm issues that have kept him from finishing his development. Though he has multiple option years remaining, and the most recent news suggests there’s still hope for a healthy 2019 season, Harvey still needs to prove that his body is capable of withstanding the rigors of a full season.
- Diamondbacks first baseman/outfielder Christian Walker is done for the year as well. Per Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (via Twitter), Walker sustained a sinus fracture after getting hit by a pitch last night. It’s a disappointing finale for Walker, who rebuilt his stock with two quality offensive seasons in Reno with the Diamondbacks’ AAA affiliate. Walker was drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 amateur draft by the Orioles, with whom he got cups of coffee in 2014 and 2015. Three waiver claims and five years later, Walker found himself back in the bigs last season, albeit quite briefly. This year, in the most extensive MLB time of his career, Walker has limped to a .163/.226/.388 slash with 22 strikeouts in 53 plate appearances spread over 37 games.