The Phillies will be without fleet-footed outfielder Roman Quinn for “at least several weeks” after an MRI revealed a Grade 2 groin strain, manager Gabe Kapler told reporters Thursday (link via Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia). He’s joined Odubel Herrera on the injured list, leaving the Phillies without their top two options in center field.
With Quinn and Herrera on the shelf, Aaron Altherr becomes Philadelphia’s top option in center field. It wasn’t long ago that the out-of-options Altherr looked like a potential roster casualty, but the Phils are now short on alternative options to man center field. Journeymen Lane Adams and Shane Robinson are currently on the roster in Triple-A; former first-rounders Mickey Moniak and Adam Haseley are in Double-A but lack experience and success in the upper minors.
Injuries have begun to pile up in Philadelphia, where they’ve not only lost their top two center fielders but their top two options at shortstop. Both Jean Segura and Scott Kingery are on the injured list with the same injury as Herrera (a strained hamstring), which forced the Phils to select the contract of veteran utilityman Sean Rodriguez earlier this week. He’s currently paired up with fellow veteran bench bat Phil Gosselin in being tasked with shortstop duties for the banged-up Philadelphia club.
For the time being, Quinn’s injury prevents the Phillies from having to make a determination on how to proceed with an outfield mix that has more bodies than available at-bats when at full strength. A healthy Phillies outfield would feature Andrew McCutchen in left, Herrera in center and Bryce Harper in right field, with Quinn, Altherr and Nick Williams on hand as reserve options. Of the reserve trio, only Quinn and Altherr are viable options in center field, but both players are also out of minor league options, which would seemingly present the Phillies with a 40-man roster call to make. That, however, won’t be the case unless the Phils can get all of their outfielders healthy at the same time.
For now, the Phils will apparently hope that Altherr can bounce back from an awful start at the plate. He has just one hit and one walk through his first 27 trips to the plate — a dismal beginning to what he hoped could be a rebound campaign following a .181/.295/.333 slash in 285 plate appearances last season. Recent struggles aside, Altherr isn’t that far removed from a terrific .272/.340/.516 batting line and 19 home runs back in 2017.