Phillies outfielder Nick Castellanos left last night’s game and wasn’t in today’s lineup due to an issue with his right oblique. He is headed for an MRI but manager Rob Thomson is hopeful that this is just precautionary (Twitter links from Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer.)
Signed in the offseason to a five-year, $100MM contract, the first few months of his tenure in Philly didn’t go so well, though he had turned things around over the past month. Through the end of July, he was hitting just .257/.300/.373 but has hit .294/.327/.490 since the calendar flipped to August. That progress seems to have now hit a couple of snags, as he already missed a few games earlier this week due to turf toe, with this oblique issue now added into the mix.
Castellanos has yet to be placed on the injured list, but losing his hot bat for even a few games will be a setback for the club. The Phillies are currently holding onto the final Wild Card spot in the National League, with the Brewers just three games back. With Bryce Harper unable to throw and taking the designated hitter spot every day, Castellanos will likely have a tough time getting back into the lineup until he feels well enough to play a full game. The Phillies used an outfield of Kyle Schwarber, Brandon Marsh and Matt Vierling tonight, with that trio likely to be the regulars until Castellanos can return. Nick Maton is primarily an infielder but has four left field starts in his career and might be the fourth outfielder for now.
Other injury updates from around the league…
- Angels righty Michael Lorenzen, who has been on the IL since July 7 due to a shoulder strain, has been on a rehab stint but will make his next start with the big league club. J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group relays the news from interim manager Phil Nevin. That will give Lorenzen a few weeks to showcase his abilities before heading back to free agency this winter. Long used as a reliever by the Reds, he signed with the Angels when they agreed to let him try himself out as a starter. He had a 3.45 ERA through mid-June, having made ten starts. Unfortunately, he allowed 16 earned runs over his next three, ballooning his ERA 4.94. The righty will get a chance to wash away that latter section as an injury blip and finish strong before returning to the open market. The Angels will need to open a spot on the 40-man roster for him, as he is currently on the 60-day IL.
- Red Sox lefty Josh Taylor, who has been on the IL all year due to a low back strain, will not return over the final few weeks of the campaign. Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe relays word from the club that it will go down as a completely lost season for the 29-year-old. It’s an unfortunate development for both Taylor and the club as he had a very nice season in 2021. Last year, he threw 47 2/3 innings with a 3.40 ERA, 28.7% strikeout rate and 43.4% ground ball rate. His 11% walk rate was a bit above the 9.8% league average for relievers last year, but it was still a strong enough showing that the club gave him the chance to earn 15 holds on the year. Taylor qualified for arbitration the first time this year as a Super Two player and is making $1.025MM for the season. Based on not appearing this season, he could likely be retained by the Red Sox at a similar price for next season, if they expect he can return to health and recapture his previous form.