After Friday’s win against the Pittsburgh Pirates at BayCare Ballpark in Clearwater, manager Joe Girardi announced that Adam Haseley will be out four weeks with a moderate left groin strain.
He suffered the injury taking off for second on a 3-2 pitch to Rhys Hoskins in the fourth inning of Thursday’s game against the New York Yankees. Catcher Rafael Marchan and outfielder Jhailyn Ortiz both are out after tweaking a hamstring. The timetable for both hamstring injuries is around 24 days.
Haseley came into camp hoping to win the starting job in center field, but the injury will most likely keep him out beyond Opening Day.
“He’s really disappointed and he worked really hard this winter,” Girardi said on Friday. “He was playing really well, and was moving extremely well and it’s disheartening for him and frustrating. But I told him ‘Look, we love the way you were playing. Make sure that you’re healthy. … Because if you do it again, it’s going to be worse than the first time and then you’re going to be out even longer.’ He’s got to get over the emotional part of it because he was ready to go.”
Scott Kingery, Roman Quinn and Mickey Moniak are all currently on the 40-man roster and have a chance at winning the starting job in center. It’s important to keep in mind that Girardi could prefer a platoon at the position, especially if all three of Kingery, Quinn and Moniak equally impress the Phillies skipper throughout spring. Travis Jankowski and Odùbel Herrera are non-roster invitees who will get a look.
Injuries to both Haseley and Marchan create an unwelcoming roster conundrum for the front office. The Phillies will most likely look to give at least one 40-man roster spot to a non-roster bullpen arm. If, for example, David Hale does not make the team, he’s an obvious candidate to be designated for assignment. They will need an additional roster spot to open up through a DFA or trade if they want to add more than one non-roster player to the 40-man. Beyond Hale, there are not many obvious candidates to let go of. The team will have to give up on a young player or make a trade to create the roster space they need.
They may also need to make room for an additional catcher, most likely Jeff Mathis and his $1.8 million salary, if both Marchan and J.T. Realmuto are not healthy enough to be ready on Opening Day.
A 24-day timetable for Marchan takes the Phillies to March 29. According to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com, non-roster relievers Brandon Kintzler, Tony Watson and Héctor Rondon all have an opt-out clause that can be exercised on March 24. The Phillies would have 48 hours to either add them onto the roster or release them. They could lose out on adding a non-roster bullpen arm if it’s clear that they need to add Mathis to the 40-man roster. The hope is that Realmuto will be ready to go for Opening Day, but nothing is certain.
As far as outfielders go, they can live with what they currently have on the 40-man roster. Non-roster outfielder Matt Joyce, per Matt Gelb of The Athletic, does not have an opt out, but he could still force his way onto the team with stellar play in the Grapefruit League. If not, an injury to Haseley could mean an extra bench spot for one of either C.J. Chatham, Nick Maton or Moniak if he doesn’t win the starting job.
In good Phillies injury news, Realmuto’s cast has been removed and replaced with a splint. He’s not hitting or throwing, but he was able to participate in a drill that simulates the motion of throwing without the ball in his hand.
“He is on track for us. This was a good sign and we’ll just have to see how the rehab continues to go,” Girardi said.
Update 1:38 – A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Adam Haseley injured his left groin heading to first following ball four on a 3-2 pitch. He was injured after taking off for second on a 3-2 pitch to the next batter, Rhys Hoskins.
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