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Hoskins has UCL injury; no IL for Realmuto

@ToddZolecki
September 14, 2020

The Phillies are not ready to say that Rhys Hoskins played his final game in 2020, but he will be cutting it close. They got better news on Monday about J.T. Realmuto and Zack Wheeler. The Phillies will place Hoskins on the 10-day injured list on Tuesday because of an

The Phillies are not ready to say that Rhys Hoskins played his final game in 2020, but he will be cutting it close.

They got better news on Monday about J.T. Realmuto and Zack Wheeler.

The Phillies will place Hoskins on the 10-day injured list on Tuesday because of an injury to his left ulnar collateral ligament after a collision at first base on Saturday. If Hoskins’ left arm responds well while on the IL, he could be activated as early as Sept. 23, because the stint will be retroactive to Sunday. There will be only four games remaining in the Phils’ regular season at that point. It is a blow to Philadelphia's offense. Hoskins has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball for weeks, and he is certainly one of the top performers on the team.

“We’re not ready to say that he’s out for the year,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said after Monday's 6-2 loss to the Marlins. “Our hope is that we’ll get him back. Other guys have continued to hit through this. We basically have to see where he’s at after a few days to see what’s next for Rhys.”

Realmuto suffered a strained left hip flexor on Saturday. He will not be placed on the IL, but he will probably miss at least the next couple days.

“Then we’ll go day by day, and we’ll have to see what his workload is after that,” Girardi said.

Realmuto sounded encouraged.

“It feels better today than it did yesterday,” Realmuto said. “Yesterday was pretty sore. I’m not sure exactly the timetable. I’m going to listen to the doctors and the trainers and kind of let them decide that. As long as I keep progressing like I did today, I don’t think it should be too long. … I’m not sure necessarily that it’s even hip. It’s kind of upper quad. It’s more muscular, which is a good sign.”

Realmuto was asked about rushing back to help his team vs. risking his long-term health. He is set to become a free agent after the season, and he might be the best position player on the market.

“I think they kind of coincide with each other, to be honest,” Realmuto said. “It doesn't really benefit the team any for me to get out there before I’m ready. Because all that causes is for me to get out there and make this injury worse and then miss the rest of the season. It’s really in the best interest for me and the rest of the team to be on the same page and wait until this thing is right before I go out there and push anything too much.”

Wheeler threw 41 pitches in a bullpen session on Monday. Girardi said it went well, and the Phillies expect him to pitch Wednesday or Thursday against the Mets at Citizens Bank Park. Wheeler missed the seven-game Marlins series after he nearly tore the nail from his right middle finger in a freak incident late last week.

“We felt good about his work today,” Girardi said.

The injuries to Hoskins and Realmuto have left the Phillies remarkably shorthanded, particularly with Jay Bruce and Roman Quinn still on the IL. Phil Gosselin started the past two days at first base, but now that Scott Kingery has rejoined the team, Alec Bohm could play first while Kingery plays second, Jean Segura plays third and Didi Gregorius plays shortstop.

Kingery hit a solo homer in his return from the IL. He had previously been sidelined because of lower back spasms. Philly optioned left-hander Ranger Suárez to make room for Kingery on the 28-man roster.

Andrew Knapp will be the primary catcher while Reamuto is down. Rafael Marchan started the first game of his big league career on Monday at just 21 years and 202 days old. No Phillies catcher has started a game at a younger age since Joe “Socks” Holden (21 years, 112 days) on Sept. 24, 1934, according to Baseball Reference. No Phillies player started a game at a younger age at any position since Scott Rolen (21 years, 156 days) on Sept. 7, 1996.

Marchan singled to center field in his first plate appearance in the third inning. Per Elias Sports Bureau, Marchan is the youngest Phillies player to get a hit in his first MLB plate appearance since Orlando Isales (20 years, 283 days old) on Sept. 30, 1980. The past two Phils to get hits in their MLB debuts at 21 or younger were Jimmy Rollins on Sept. 17, 2000, and Scott Rolen on Aug. 1, 1996.

Marchan had never played above Class A Advanced Clearwater, but he joined the 40-man roster after Realmuto’s injury only because the Phils designated Deivy Grullón for assignment late last month. Grullón had been DFA'd to make room for Suárez on the 40-man. The Red Sox claimed him off waivers.

In other news, Neil Walker cleared waivers, but he elected free agency.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook .