The Phillies are fighting for their playoff lives, but they’ll have to do so without one of their best hitters, as manager Joe Girardi said Wednesday that first baseman Rhys Hoskins is a long shot to return before the regular season draws to a close (Twitter link via Todd Zolecki of MLB.com). Hoskins, out with a UCL injury in his non-throwing arm, took some dry swings today but isn’t yet ready to face live pitching.
It’s been a rough go of it on the injury front for the Phillies. Star catcher J.T. Realmuto was recently sidelined for more than a week due to hip trouble, and Bryce Harper has dealt with back discomfort in recent weeks. Both Harper and Realmuto are in tonight’s lineup and playing at less than 100 percent, per Girardi, which will likely be the case through season’s end. Harper is serving as the DH. Realmuto is at first base.
Hoskins, 27, has bounced back from a last year’s down season (by his standards). Through 185 plate appearances in 2020, he’s batted .245/.384/.503 with 10 homers, nine doubles and a hefty 15.7 percent walk rate. His output at the plate has been 39 percent better than that of a league-average hitter by measure of wRC+.
The Phillies aren’t dead in the water yet, but a four-game losing streak — capped by another bullpen meltdown and a walk-off loss against the Nats last night — hasn’t helped their chances. But at 27-29, the Phils are only a game back in the loss column to the three teams ahead of them in playoff standings (Cincinnati, Milwaukee and San Francisco. FanGraphs still gives them a one in three chance of making the postseason, but they’ll need to right the ship in a hurry — and likely see some of those previously mentioned competitors stumble — to secure their spot.