The Phillies got a much-needed win Tuesday night against the Dodgers, with Jake Arrieta spinning seven solid innings of six-hit ball, striking out five and walking two. As per usual he baited the opposition into weakly hit outs, plus a couple double play balls.
Meanwhile the Phils suffered an unfortunate injury. Pedro Florimon, getting a start Tuesday and a chance to hit in the two-hole, was struck in the foot by a foul ball in the first. He left the game, where Maikel Franco took his place, and was later found to be suffering from a broken foot. Florimon is now on the disabled list, and probably for a little while.
That means the Phils need someone, and likely a hitter, because you can’t continue a long west coast trip with a three-man bench where one player is the backup catcher. J.P. Crawford is close to returning but just began a rehab stint in Clearwater. It’s likely he gets a couple rehab games in before heading back to the majors, so imagine the Phils could be without him through the weekend, and he’ll join up in Chicago.
The only hitter on the 40-man roster who isn’t with the team and isn’t injured is Dylan Cozens, who is hitting .224/.321/.424 with nine home runs in 49 games (also 74 strikeouts). Problem is Cozens is only an outfielder, making Jesmuel Valentin the only backup for any infield position. Having someone with more versatility would be preferred.
Thus it’s possible we’ll see Mitch Walding, the 25-year-old third baseman now in Lehigh Valley. He’s hitting .271/.379/.484 with the IronPigs and would be a fine bench option for a few days. Joey Meneses (.329/.370/.597) is another option, though he’s primarily a first baseman with very little experience at third base.
There are two other options: Dean Anna and Alexi Amarista. Anna, 31, has very little major league experience but can play up the middle. He’s hitting .244/.322/.300 with the Pigs. And Amarista, 29, has significant experience primarily with the Padres. This year he’s .238/.279/.275 with the Pigs.
I’d bet more on Anna or Amarista, considering this is a quick turnaround where the Phils need a warm body more than an impact player.
Adding anyone but Cozens means adding that player to the 40-man roster, which means taking someone off the 40-man because it’s now at capacity. It’s possible someone like Zac Curtis or Drew Anderson gets booted, but it’s also possible someone gets moved from the 10-day DL to the 60-day DL. Maybe Florimon, but I’d imagine the Phils want to know the severity of the foot injury. Maybe – and I think this is more likely – Jerad Eickhoff, who is seeing a specialist regarding thoracic outlet syndrome today.
Either way, the Phils’ roster is starting to tighten up, and just in time for this West Coast swing, right?