WASHINGTON – Though the Phillies are hoping to get Rhys Hoskins back at some point during their four-game streak at Nationals Park, they will be without Andrew McCutchen for a little longer.
While manager Joe Girardi said the MRI results on McCuthen’s left knee were “not alarming,” the club put him on the 10-day injury list due to an inflammation prior to the start of the series on Monday. Andrew Knapp was reinstated to take McCuthen’s place on the active list.
“We just didn’t feel like it was going to take a couple of days,” said Girardi. “We think it will calm down with this stint. Our hope is to get it back when it’s over.”
Hoskins, meanwhile, remains with a left groin problem day in and day out.
The duo were the Phillies’ top running producer this season. Hoskins leads the team with 63 RBIs, while McCutchen is not far behind with 58 – but the latter was arguably Philadelphia’s top hitter in the past two months.
McCutchen hit .271 with 13 homers, 37 RBIs and a .964 OPS in 49 games since early June. To put those numbers in perspective, that adds up to a 42-homer, 122-RBI pace over 162 games.
“It’s huge,” said Hoskins of McCuthen’s absence. “But it’s time to go right, isn’t it? Somebody has to step up. Hopefully it’s only 10 days and we can get him back right away. But the production has to come from somewhere else.”
Hoskins is hoping to be one of those sources, although it will take at least another day to get into the starting XI. He took some turns on Monday and used Grounder while running with a “60-70% clip” without any problems. Girardi said it was possible that he would use Hoskins as a pinch hitter on Monday night.
“I feel close,” said Hoskins. “I’ve definitely made good progress in the last few days. The strength is slowly coming back.
Brad Miller started in first base on Monday in the absence of Hoskins, while Odúbel Herrera in left field with Travis Jankowski in the middle received the call. While that’s the plan for the immediate future, Girardi didn’t rule out the possibility of promoting other options – possibly Mickey Moniak or Matt Vierling – once Knapp is back on track upon his return from the paternity list. The team is carrying three catchers for the time being.
“It is possible, but not for today,” said Girardi. “We will continue to evaluate it, but as of today we will not take a step.”