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Didi Gregorius returns to the lineup, Velasquez on pitch limit


Phillies shortstop Didi Gregorius returns to the lineup for Friday’s series opener against the Colorado Rockies. He’s missed the previous three games with a right elbow injury after diving for a ball in left-center.

Didi Gregorius is back after missing the Giants series. (John Adams/Icon Sportswire)

Inflammation in the elbow ultimately kept him out of the Giants series. A player like Gregorius has to take extra precautions when dealing with injuries like the one he sustained over the weekend against St. Louis. In 2011, Gregorius was diagnosed with a chronic kidney disorder, which among other things, can cause inflammation to linger for an extended period of time. For example, Gregorius is still dealing with swelling from a hit-by-pitch he dealt with on Opening Day against the Braves.

“If I get hit by a pitch, it stays swollen for like a week or two,” Gregorius said before Friday’s game. “That’s why I try to stay away and not get hit.”

Gregorius’ presence in the lineup provides more length, especially considering one of the team’s hottest hitters in Jean Segura is dealing with an injury. He’ll bat fifth and while his bat hasn’t been much of an issue this season, his defense has. In just 121 1/3 innings at shortstop, Gregorius is worth a league-worst -6 DRS.

“I’m not where I want to be,” Gregorius said on his defense. “I’m not feeling the way I want to feel. But I’m getting through that process, what needs to happen day by day, so I think that’s the main thing. That’s what I always look forward to.”

Pregame Notes

  • The Phillies have brought the maximum of five players with them on the taxi squad. Right-handed pitchers J.D. Hammer and Ramón Rosso, outfielder Matt Vierling, infielder Luke Williams and catcher Rafael Marchan have all made the trip. Marchan and Rosso are the only two players currently on the 40-man roster.
  • Archie Bradley, who is currently on the 10-day injured list with an oblique injury, is at the alternate site in preparation for his return. He has not thrown his first bullpen session.
  • Hitting coach Joe Dillon and bullpen coach Dave Lunquist are back with the team. They have been absent from the team since April 16 because of COVID-19 protocols. Third base coach Dusty Wathan, first base coach Paco Figueroa and coaching assistant Bobby Meacham are still out.
  • Joe Girardi expects to have Ronald Torreyes, Matt Moore and Jose Alvarado (COVID-19 IL) back during the Phillies’ next series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
  • Vince Velasquez’s pitch limit tonight will be around 75. “I’d be thrilled if I can five innings out of Vinny tonight with his pitch count being down. Just four innings would be great. Just keep us in the game, Vinny,” Girardi said pregame.
  • Brad Miller was scratched from tonight’s lineup. Nick Maton will replace him.

Tonight’s Lineups

Phillies

  1. Andrew McCutchen, LF
  2. Rhys Hoskins, 1B
  3. Bryce Harper, RF
  4. J.T. Realmuto, C
  5. Didi Gregorius, SS
  6. Alec Bohm, 3B
  7. Nick Maton, 2B
  8. Mickey Moniak, CF
  9. Vince Velasquez, P

Rockies

  1. Raimel Tapia, LF
  2. Ryan McMahon, 3B
  3. Trevor Story, SS
  4. Charlie Blackmon, RF
  5. C.J. Cron, 1B
  6. Yonathan Daza, CF
  7. Garrett Hampson, 2B
  8. Dom Nuñez, C
  9. Germán Márquez, P

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