The news on Rhys Hoskins continues to get worse.
A couple of hours after he was placed on the injured list with a lingering groin strain Thursday, he arrived in the dugout at Citizens Bank Park and told reporters his season was over.
The 28-year-old first baseman will have surgery to repair an abdominal tear. The surgery, he said, could be performed as soon as next week.
“It’s frustrating. It’s upsetting,” he said. “You want to be out there with your team, especially at this time of year. There’s been a lot of effort by a lot of people the last couple of weeks to make sure that was an option and I’m very appreciative of that. It just didn’t go as planned. It stinks. It really stinks. But at least by getting the surgery now, I will have a full off-season to prepare (for 2022).”
Losing Hoskins is a big blow to the Phillies’ offense and the team's chances of ending a nine-year playoff drought. He hits in the middle of the order and leads the team in homers (27) and RBIs (71).
The Phillies entered Thursday night's game against Arizona at 63-63, five games behind first-place Atlanta in the NL East with 36 games to play. The Phillies had lost 10 of their previous 14 games and averaged just 2.9 runs in those contests. Hoskins missed all but two of those 14 games.
Hoskins revealed that he’d been dealing with a low-grade abdominal tear all season. It worsened in July and required a stint on the injured list from August 7-21.
Hoskins said he was expecting to have off-season surgery even before he came off the injured list Sunday and hit two home runs in San Diego. He hit another one Wednesday night but had mobility issues at first base. An MRI performed on Thursday showed the injury had worsened slightly. Shut down time.
“It was a risk we were willing to take,” Hoskins said of playing through the injury. “We got to the point where we knew a procedure was necessary and (playing) wasn’t going to change the recovery time.
“It never hurt to hit. That was the dilemma we had.”
Recovery time is six to eight weeks. Hoskins has been treated by William Meyers, a Philadelphia-based surgeon who specializes in abdomen injuries. Meyers has operated on Miguel Cabrera, Mike Hampton and even Phillies general manager Sam Fuld during his playing days.
Manager Joe Girardi said the team had not decided how it would fill Hoskins’ spot in the lineup. Brad Miller got the start at first base Thursday night against Arizona. Girardi declined to discuss other options and whether one might include playing Alec Bohm at the position. Bohm is currently playing at Triple A.
As if the news on Hoskins wasn’t bad enough, the Phillies also learned about four hours before Thursday night’s game that Zach Eflin’s right knee tendinitis had flared up again. He was scratched from his scheduled start against Arizona. Matt Moore got the start. Eflin had been activated from the IL earlier in the day.
Hoskins also missed the end of the 2020 season with a left elbow injury that required off-season surgery.