The Phillies hope to have J.T. Realmuto back in the coming days. Who knows, maybe he and Zack Wheeler will both return for Thursday’s finale of the important three-game series against the New York Mets that begins Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park.
Realmuto is battling a mild strain in his left hip/quad area. His condition is improving. Andrew Knapp and rookie Rafael Marchan will handle the catching duties while he mends.
Filling the hole left by injured first baseman Rhys Hoskins will not be as simple.
Hoskins is on the injured list with a left elbow strain. He won’t be eligible to return until Sept. 23 — and that’s only if all goes well in his recovery. At that point, there will only be four games left in the regular season.
Hoskins was injured making a play on a wide throw Saturday night in Miami. Phil Gosselin played first base the last three games, but the Phillies could go a different route during the Mets series.
Scott Kingery came off the injured list on Monday and started at second base. With Kingery back and Gosselin also capable of playing second base, it’s possible that the Phils could send Jean Segura back to third base and use rookie Alec Bohm at first base.
Bohm is hitting .318 with an .851 OPS through his first 31 big-league games, all at third base. Though third is his natural position, he has legitimate experience across the diamond at first base. He played there as a collegian in the Cape Cod League. He played 24 games there in the Phillies' minor-league system last year and eight in the Arizona Fall League. He also worked at the position during preseason workouts this summer.
So, could we see Bohm at first base in the coming days?
“That’s something that obviously we’re going to have to talk about,” manager Joe Girardi said Monday. “We have not discussed that, but we’ll definitely talk about what we’re going to do moving forward now that we know Rhys is on the IL for 10 days.”
Losing Hoskins’ bat will hurt. Over his last 22 games, he was hitting .275 with nine homers, 19 RBIs and a .979 OPS.
The Phillies enter the series against the Mets having lost three straight as part of a disappointing 2-5 series in Miami. The Phils were outscored 16-4 and had just 11 hits in the final three games, all losses.
At 23-23, the Phils are currently clinging to the seventh playoff spot in the National League with 14 games to play. Eight teams make the postseason. The Phils are a half-game up on the eighth-place team, San Francisco, and 1½ games up on the ninth spot. The Mets are 2½ games back.
The Mets will send Rick Porcello, Jacob deGrom and Seth Lugo to the mound against the Phillies. Jake Arrieta pitches the opener for the Phillies on Tuesday night. The rest of the Phillies’ pitching plans depend on Wheeler’s status. He is recovering from a torn fingernail on his right middle finger. He would have three more starts if he can pitch Thursday. Wednesday is Aaron Nola’s regular day to pitch.