In the sixth inning of Tuesday night’s 4-1 victory over the New York Mets, Jake Arrieta suffered a right hamstring injury. He inadvertently hit Andrés Giminez with an 86-mph changeup. The injury occurred when he tried to move his push off leg towards home plate.
“It kinda felt like I got shot,” Arrieta said.
He limped off the field. At the moment, it looked like his Phillies career was over, but according to Arrieta, that appears unlikely.
“I’ll be back for the playoffs. There’s no question in mind about that. I think I can be back sooner than that.”
He spoke after the game with team physician Steven B. Cohen and trainer Paul Buchheit. According to Arrieta, the trio is pretty confident that the injury is a Grade 1 hamstring tear, but he’ll get treatment overnight and within the next few days. A 10-day minimum stint on the injured list is most likely to come for the 34-year-old.
The former Cubs pitcher suffered a similar injury at the end of the 2017 regular season. He ended up missing two starts, but Arrieta believes he could have missed less time if he did not try to rush back. He threw a bullpen session five days after the injury and that set him back another four or five days.
“We’re gonna play this smarter than we did in that situation. I think based on the strength test we did after the game with [Buchheit] and Dr. Cohen, that was a good sign.
“There’s no need to rush this, but I’m going to do everything in my power with the treatment, the soft tissue work and making sure my tissue is hydrated and everything’s ready to go. If I continue to do that and take care of myself, I don’t intend to miss too much time,” Arrieta said.
There are a few notable differences between Arrieta’s injury from Tuesday and the one he suffered in 2017. The strain suffered three years ago was to his left leg. The right leg — Arrieta’s drive leg — could require more treatment before his first extended throwing session after the injury.
Arrieta was also 31-years-old in September 2017. As he ages, his body could respond differently to the injury and push back his expected recovery timeline.Embed from Getty Images
For the Phillies, that means they should plan for the worst and hope for the best. Barring a miracle, Arrieta will miss his next scheduled start against the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday. Spencer Howard will be out until at least Sept. 23 with a shoulder injury. Zack Wheeler missed time with a right middle fingernail injury.
Fortunately for the Phillies, Wheeler will start on Wednesday against his former teammate Jacob deGrom, per Girardi.
Options from Lehigh Valley that could replace Arrieta include Adonis Medina, Cole Irvin, Ranger Suarez, Mauricio Llovera, Connor Brogdon, Cristopher Sanchez and Damon Jones. Jones is the only pitcher mentioned who is not on the 40-man roster. Every pitcher besides Brogdon is stretched out as a starter.
RHP Ramón Rosso, who is currently not on the active roster, is in line to be called up as the 29th man in the doubleheader Friday and start one of the two games.
Even with the news of Wheeler being healthy enough to start, Arrieta’s injury further depletes the Phillies pitching depth.
In more injury news, outfielder Kyle Garlick suffered an oblique injury and had to be removed from Tuesday’s game. He was replaced by Adam Haseley, who knocked in the game-winning run on a two-run single in the fourth. Jay Bruce is expected to return from the injured list later this week.
Roman Quinn made his first start Tuesday since landing on the 7-day concussion IL on Sept. 6. J.T. Realmuto is currently day-to-day with an upper quad injury. Rhys Hoskins is on the 10-day injured list with a left elbow strain. The team has not ruled out Tommy John surgery to repair the injury, per Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic.
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