Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins returned to the lineup from the injured list on Sunday. Thursday, the Phillies put him back on the injured list, again, with a left groin strain. This time around, his season is over. Hoskins told reporters that he will undergo surgery to repair a tear in his lower abdomen.
Given that the Phillies entered Thursday five games out both in the NL East and from the second NL wild card spot, in addition to Hoskins being a middle-order bat, this is pretty tough news for them.
Hoskins had actually gone 3 for 8 with three home runs in his three games (two starts) off the injured list. His 2021 season now complete, Hoskins ends with a .247/.334/.530 (133 OPS+) slash along with 29 doubles, 27 homers, 71 RBI and 2.2 WAR. The Phillies are, so far, six games over .500 when he starts this season and six games under when he doesn't.
Brad Miller is in the lineup Thursday at first base and figures to be the everyday starter the rest of the way. He's adequate on the power front, as he has hit 12 homers in 239 at-bats this season, but he's only hitting .218 with a .310 on-base percentage. Hoskins being out also takes away the biggest bench power threat in Miller.
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The Phillies held first place in the NL East for a few days earlier this month, but while the Braves have been surging, the Phillies have lost 10 of their last 14 games. In that span, they've hit a paltry .193 with a .606 OPS while averaging just 2.9 runs per game.
They do, however, have an easy stretch in the schedule coming up. They host the Diamondbacks for four games starting Thursday before a road trip that starts with three games against the Nationals and three more against the Marlins. After a tough three-game series with the Brewers, the Phillies then return home to face the Rockies for four games and the Cubs for three.
This is all to say if the Phillies want to make a run for a playoff spot, they need to get hot right now. In light of this, the Hoskins loss is significant.