Injury-ravaged Phillies get a big bopper back at a crucial time


Without their No. 2, 4 and 5 hitters, the Phillies finally got some good injury news Friday with the return of Jay Bruce.

Bruce spent 12 days on the IL with a quad strain. He missed 10 days earlier in the season with the same issue.

Bruce was not in the Phillies' Game 1 lineup in their 7-0 win over lefty Robbie Ray but he started at first base and hit fifth in Game 2 against Ross Stripling.

The Phillies badly needed the power jolt Bruce can provide because they are without Rhys Hoskins (elbow), J.T. Realmuto (hip flexor) and Jean Segura (triceps). 

These are major losses. Hoskins and Segura had been their best hitters for the last month. Segura in particular has been red-hot the last 15 games, hitting .365 with seven extra-base hits and 10 RBI. He is not expected to play Saturday after being hit on the arm by hard-throwing Jeurys Familia Thursday.

Bruce has 225 plate appearances as a Phillie. He's hit just .222 with a ridiculously low .249 on-base percentage but he's made up for it by crankin' dingers. He's hit 18 home runs, driven in 45 runs and slugged .532.

The Phillies made room for Bruce on the active roster by optioning left-handed reliever Garrett Cleavinger to Lehigh Valley. Cleavinger made his MLB debut Thursday night and, just like Connor Brogdon earlier this season, served up a home run to the very first batter he faced. Robinson Cano took him deep to right field.