PHILADELPHIA -- Less than three weeks into the season, the Phillies’ organizational depth is being pushed to its limits.
They announced Wednesday morning that second baseman Jean Segura has been placed on the 10-day injured list because of a strained right quadriceps. An MRI exam confirmed the severity of the injury. In the past 11 days, the Phils have lost right-hander Archie Bradley (strained left oblique), left-hander José Alvarado (COVID-19 protocols), lefty Matt Moore (COVID-19 protocols), infielder Ronald Torreyes (COVID-19 protocols) and shortstop Didi Gregorius (sore right elbow). They’ve also had five coaches enter COVID-19 protocols.
Philadelphia recalled infielder Scott Kingery from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take Segura’s place on the 26-man roster.
It is far from ideal. The Phillies said earlier this week that Kingery was not a candidate for a promotion, despite almost no production from their center fielders, because he continued to struggle with his swing changes at the alternate training site in Allentown, Pa.
The losses of Segura, Gregorius and Torreyes left them no choice. Kingery went 0-for-2 with a strikeout after entering as a pinch-hitter in Wednesday's 6-5 victory over the Giants.
The Phils hope it is a short-term stopgap. Gregorius has not played since Sunday, but Phillies manager Joe Girardi said he thinks he will play Friday against the Rockies at Coors Field. If Gregorius returns, Girardi said he will play rookie Nick Maton or Brad Miller at second base, depending on matchups.
Maton had three hits on Wednesday. Miller tied a career high with four hits.
“Nick has played great,” Girardi said. “I don’t think you can say enough about what Nick has done filling in for Didi. He’s played really good defense. He’s swung the bat well. The game has not sped up for him, which you’re never sure what’s going to happen.”
In an additional roster move, the Phillies recalled right-hander Spencer Howard and optioned fellow righty Ramón Rosso. Howard struck out three batters in 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.
“We’re going to ask him to pitch some important innings, just like everybody else with Archie and Alvarado out,” Girardi said. “We’re asking guys to step up. It’s not always something they’re used to doing, but it’s part of growing up in your career.”
Moniak's first homer
Moniak’s first career home run ball found itself in the hands of an infant, who thought it looked appetizing. He kept trying to put the ball in his mouth.
Moniak eventually got the ball back.
“I'm just glad it's intact,” he joked. “And I'm very grateful that they gave it back.”
Any bite marks on the ball?
“I haven't checked it yet,” he said. “So there definitely could be. And honestly, I really hope so.”
Moniak was 0-for-12 with eight strikeouts and two walks in his first four games since joining the Phillies on April 14. He singled in his first at-bat on Tuesday. He homered in his first at-bat on Wednesday.
“It was awesome,” Moniak said about the homer. “Obviously, it's something you dreamed of. The fact that I've been grinding out at-bats the way I have, and to do something to contribute to the team and put us in a place to win a big game right here on getaway day, it was something that I'll never forget, being my first homer. But the fact that it contributed to the team winning was maybe even better.”
Maybe the last two games will get Moniak going and the Phillies can put their center-field concerns to rest.
“I was kind of pressing to try to do too much,” Moniak said. “And I think I got outside of myself. Just having the support of guys in this clubhouse and Joe and our staff has been huge. Just kind of telling me to relax and just have fun. They know, and I know, what kind of baseball player that I can be. The main way to get there is to try to not do too much and stay within myself.”