MILWAUKEE - The Phillies had precious few reasons to be happy in the first half of the season.They lost one of those reasons to an injury in the fifth inning of their first game following the All-Star break in Friday night's 9-6 loss to the Brewers at Miller Park. Aaron
MILWAUKEE - The Phillies had precious few reasons to be happy in the first half of the season.
They lost one of those reasons to an injury in the fifth inning of their first game following the All-Star break in Friday night's 9-6 loss to the Brewers at Miller Park. Aaron Altherr has been the team's best hitter this season, but he suffered a mildly strained right hamstring on his way to second base on a double. Altherr said he is day to day, but a trip to the 10-day disabled list cannot be ruled out.
"It's frustrating, but I can't really control it now," Altherr said.
Altherr is hitting .288 with 20 doubles, three triples, 14 home runs, 44 RBIs and an .898 OPS in 301 plate appearances. He is on pace to finish with the Phillies' highest OPS since Jayson Werth posted a .926 mark in 2010.
"I don't know how severe it is," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "If it's mild, if it's a day or two or a week or two, I'm not sure. We won't know until tomorrow."
If Altherr only needs a couple days to recover, the Phillies can work with Odubel Herrera, Nick Williams, Daniel Nava and Cameron Perkins in the outfield. Ty Kelly, Brock Stassi and Andres Blanco also can play in the outfield if needed.
Nava likely would slide into the leadoff spot, where Altherr has hit in the Phillies' last two games. In those two games, the only times he's hit leadoff this season, Altherr went 4-for-6 with three doubles and one home run.
"Altherr seemed to like that leadoff spot," Mackanin said.
Even if Altherr ends up on the 10-day disabled list, the Phillies might stick with Herrera, Williams, Altherr and Perkins anyway. Second baseman Cesar Hernandez is on the DL with a strained left oblique, but the Phillies said before the game that he is expected to be activated next week in Miami. The Phillies could accelerate his timetable and activate him in place of Altherr.
Many have wondered if Triple-A Lehigh Valley first baseman Rhys Hoskins could play left field, if only to get a look at him in the big leagues. But Phillies general manager Matt Klentak indicated last weekend it is unlikely. A promotion for Triple-A outfielder Dylan Cozens also seems unlikely.
Maybe Altherr will wake up Saturday and feel better, or maybe it feels the same and they simply place him on the DL to make sure he doesn't make the injury worse.
"It's a little sore now," Altherr said. "But I've been icing, so we'll see how it feels tomorrow and take it from there."
Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.