PHILADELPHIA -- Go figure. The moment a Phillies center fielder starts to hit the baseball a little bit, he lands on the injured list.
The Phillies placed Roman Quinn on the 10-day IL on Wednesday after he sliced his right index finger trying to bunt on Tuesday. The cut required nine stitches to close. Quinn had three hits in his last three games, including two triples, after he had just three hits in his first 21 games. The Phillies also placed outfielder Matt Joyce on the IL with a right calf injury. They recalled outfielder Mickey Moniak and utility player Scott Kingery to take their place.
It leaves Odúbel Herrera and Moniak as the team’s only center fielders, unless the Phillies want to play Kingery or Nick Maton there.
Maton is not an option yet, although he is working out there. He needs to play second base while Jean Segura is on the IL because of a strained right quadriceps. Segura played well in the first game of his rehab assignment Tuesday with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He will play again Wednesday.
It is possible he rejoins the Phillies after that.
“When Jean comes back, obviously we’re going to have to sit down and decide what we’re going to do,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said.
Kingery might be an option in center, but he is struggling to find his swing after making adjustments following last season.
“Obviously we’re going to go day by day,” Girardi said about center field. “I don’t think we’ve had anyone who’s said, 'OK, this is my job and no one else is getting it.' Odúbel has tried to make some adjustments the past few days. I like what I’ve seen. Again, you hope that one of these guys when they get a chance, they kind of take off. So Odúbel is in there tonight and we’ll make an evaluation tomorrow.”
Harper continues to improve
Bryce Harper remained out of the lineup for the sixth time in seven days because of a bruised left wrist.
“He’s definitely making progress,” Girardi said. “He had some swelling. It was down yesterday, the swelling, which I was pleased with.”
Alvarado struck out Dominic Smith in that game, then started gesturing and shouting at him as he walked off the mound.
He dropped his glove at one point.
“I’m past that day,” Alvarado said.
Smith got under Alvarado’s skin after Alvarado hit Michael Conforto with a pitch in New York last month. The previous pitch came near Conforto’s head. Smith shouted at Alvarado from the Mets’ dugout. Smith said after Friday’s incident that he would be happy to meet Alvarado on the service level at Citizens Bank Park.
“I am a professional pitcher,” Alvarado said. “Sometimes, I lose my two-seam. I can’t throw a four-seam fastball. I only throw two-seam. I don’t want to hit somebody because I know I throw hard. I don’t want to hit someone and lose games. Every time when I’m coming into a game, I focus on the target. That’s it.”
So the issue with Smith is finished then?
“For me, I’m done,” Alvarado said. “When we face the New York Mets, I’ll continue to focus on my plan and attack the strike zone and put the ball on the plate real quick. I don’t want to hit somebody. That’s baseball.”
• Following Tuesday’s lineup-card mistake and knowing that other teams have made similar errors over the past two seasons, Phillies manager Joe Girardi said he hopes teams can just print out their own lineup cards like they did in the past.
“Because in our system, we had our moves done,” Girardi said. “It was on the board. It was on our lineup card. But not the official lineup card. Hopefully we can get back to that, so we don’t have to deal with this.”
• Spencer Howard started Wednesday night in Triple-A. He allowed one hit and two walks and struck out two in two scoreless innings. He threw 44 pitches. The Phillies are building Howard’s arm strength for a potential return to the rotation, although he will be limited in how many innings he pitches. Girardi isn’t focused on the innings or pitches. He is more concerned about the quality of his starts.
“You can always piggyback people,” he said. “You can always do that if you need to. Or if you have a fresh bullpen and a guy can only go four or five innings, you find a way to get through it. And hopefully, as we get past this stretch, our bullpen will freshen up more.”