Phils' depth to be tested after Marsh, Clemens injuries

June 3rd, 2024

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies haven't missed a beat since shortstop Trea Turner went on the injured list exactly one month ago, but their depth is about to be tested even further.

Philadelphia placed both starting left fielder (right hamstring strain) and utility man (low back spasms) on the 10-day IL prior to Monday night's series opener against the Brewers at Citizens Bank Park. Neither injury is believed to be overly serious, but the club did not give an indication of how long Marsh might be sidelined.

"It's not real severe; very mild strain," manager Rob Thomson said. "But I don't know what the timeline is."

Marsh initially felt something while running to first on his leadoff single in the eighth inning of Sunday night's 5-4 loss, but he didn't think it was anything serious until he tried rounding second on Nick Castellanos' ensuing single.

"Yeah, I felt it running around first, but decided to stay in and push it a little bit," Marsh said. "And you know, felt it rounding second, so I alerted the guys and they came and got me."

While Turner has missed four weeks and remains without a firm timeline to return since sustaining a left hamstring strain on May 3, Marsh's strain does not seem as significant as Turner's injury at this point.

"It's a little early right now, so still treating and assessing it," Marsh said. "No timetable, but I'm looking for a pretty quick turnaround."

In the meantime, the Phils will give multiple guys a chance to soak up some of the reps in left field.

Veteran outfielder David Dahl, who had his contract selected from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Monday, got the first crack. He hit seventh and started in left field against Milwaukee.

Signed to a Minor League deal on Feb. 19, the 30-year-old Dahl hit .340 with 12 home runs and a 1.076 OPS in 43 games with the IronPigs this season.

"He's been swinging the bat really well," Thomson said. "Over a 1.000 OPS, he's hitting home runs, he's getting on base, playing OK defensively. So we'll see what we've got."

Marsh's absence also figures to create more opportunities for Cristian Pache and Whit Merrifield. Pache has been used mostly in a platoon with Marsh over the past two seasons.

"It's very frustrating," Marsh said. "But I've been saying this all year: We've got guys to come and step up. Pache and I have been sharing the left field spot and he's going to come up big for us here. I'm excited to see what he's going to bring to the table this next week or two."

When asked if Marsh's absence would lead to more playing time for Pache, Thomson said, "Probably a little bit more." He said the same applies to Merrifield, who has struggled to a .176 average and a .532 OPS in his limited chances this season.

"As I've said all along, I hope we can get Whit going," Thomson said. "Only way he can get going is by playing and getting reps, so this may be an opportunity to get him more playing time."

Thomson plans to mix and match in left field for the time being, depending on a number of factors, including starting pitcher matchups, and the available options in an opponents' bullpen on a given night.

Of course, if any one player gets hot, they could start getting consistent starts as long as Marsh remains on the shelf -- similar to what Edmundo Sosa has done at shortstop in Turner's absence.

"That's kind of the way this club has been for the last couple years: Somebody goes down and somebody steps up and does well," Thomson said. "I don't know who it's going to be, but I'm expecting the same kind of thing to happen."