Updated: 5:50 p.m.
Just 10 days after he was placed on the DL with an oblique strain, Justin Bour was activated Sunday by the Phillies.
The news was surprising given the ordinary recovery timetable for an oblique injury. Position players, on average, miss 27 days with the injury. It’s rare for a player with an oblique issue to make it back before three weeks.
Now, Bour’s activation doesn’t necessarily mean he’s ready to play right away. With expanded rosters in September, the Phillies can activate him days before he’s actually ready as a just-in-case move. It’s not as if he’s taking someone’s spot on the roster.
(Update: Kapler said after Sunday's game that Bour would have been available off the bench and could play Monday in Miami.)
The Phils could obviously use Bour’s powerful left-handed bat. In tandem with Jose Bautista, he gives the Phillies a legit pinch-hit home run possibility from either side of the plate.
The timing of his activation is appropriate with Daniel Murphy and the Cubs in town. Baseball fans all over the country, along with the Cubs themselves, were shocked that Murphy slid through every NL team in the waiver order to get to the Cubs. The Phillies let Murphy pass through likely because they had so recently acquired Bour via revocable trade waivers and felt they didn’t have enough room on the 25-man roster for another lefty bat with defensive limitations.
It’s easier to criticize the Murphy non-acquisition now with Cesar Hernandez’s continued slump. Since July 1, Hernandez is 45 for 200 (.225). He’s hitting 41 points lower on the season than he did in 2016 or 2017.