The Edubray Ramos injury is going to hurt.
In Game 1 of Sunday's doubleheader against the Padres, the Phillies lost Ramos, a key reliever this season, to a strained left patella tendon (see first take).
Ramos was placed on the DL in between games and Luis Garcia was activated after missing six weeks with a wrist injury. The Phillies also added hard-throwing right-handed reliever Yacksel Rios as the 26th man they're permitted in a doubleheader.
Gabe Kapler didn't have a specific timetable for Ramos' return, but looking at the history of patella tendon strains across the major sports, it seems to be a 4-to-6-week injury.
Losing Ramos for that time frame will weaken the Phillies' bullpen, there's no two ways about it. He has a 1.91 ERA in 39 appearances this season, and it was 1.11 before the final game of the first half.
But it goes beyond that. Kapler has used Ramos in a variety of roles — 14 of his 33 innings were appearances in the sixth and seventh; 17 were in the eighth and ninth.
On a lot of nights, Ramos was the first reliever Kapler would turn to in a medium-to-high-leverage situation.
With Ramos out, the Phillies' need for another reliever increases. Three very good relievers — Jeurys Familia, Brad Hand and Adam Cimber — are already off the market after trades this weekend.
But relief help is typically the easiest kind to find at this time of the year. There are still a few elite relievers out there — Cincinnati's Raisel Iglesias, Pittsburgh's Felipe Vazquez, Miami's Kyle Barraclough — as well as setup men like Craig Stammen, Kirby Yates, Ryan Tepera, Tyler Clippard, Seunghwan Oh and Jake Diekman.
The return of Pat Neshek has certainly helped the Phils' bullpen, but beyond Neshek and Seranthony Dominguez, the Phillies don't really have a reliever they can trust to lock things down late in a game. Adding a reliever made sense even before the Ramos injury, but now, it would be pretty surprising if the Phillies didn't make an addition to the 'pen between now and July 31.