Injuries Start to Pile Up Around Edges of the Phillies Roster
The Phillies got some troubling news in regards to their top prospect, Andrew Painter, who has a sprain in his UCL. Then Ranger Suárez experienced soreness in his forearm. His status is still somewhat up in the air. But the Phillies have recently experienced a handful of injuries from the edges of the roster, and their depth will be tested.
First: catching woes.
Catcher Garrett Stubbs was playing third base for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic. He had to pause playing for Team Israel after a knee injury. That injury turned out to be a knee sprain. Stubbs does believe that he will be ready for Opening Day on March 30th.
That would be ideal, because the number three catcher in the organization is also battling injury. Rafael Marchan bruised his hamate bone in his right hand and is currently not playing. Catchers John Hicks and Aramis Garcia are currently getting the bulk of the playing time behind the plate in Grapefruit League action.
Now for the pitching department.
Nick Nelson serves capably as the Phillies long man. With worries about Painter and Suárez, the Phillies are walking a thin line behind probable starter Bailey Falter. Nelson was called a candidate for the starting rotation. Though he probably would not have won the job, he would have been an important bridge behind the fifth starter in terms of making up innings.
Nelson suffered a hamstring strain this week. It has been called "moderate". But Nelson will be shut down. No timeline has been reported yet.
Cristopher Sanchez made several spot starts for the Phillies last season. He has been experiencing triceps soreness. He too will be shut down.
So the Phillies will need to find someone to give them innings in the bullpen. Michael Plassmeyer may ultimately come up sixth in the starting rotation battle, but if Suárez is not able to pitch in the starting rotation immediately, the Phillies might need him to start.
Word is that Matt Strahm, who once was a starting pitcher in the major leagues, is going to be stretched out to pitch multiple innings. He was last a starter in the major leagues in 2019 with the San Diego Padres.
To round out the bullpen the Phillies have Yunior Marte in camp, who has minor league options. Also, Andrew Vasquez is a left-handed reliever they claimed two separate times on waivers. He could stick around to start the season, though that would give the Phillies four left-handed pitchers in the bullpen.
There's nothing wrong with that, but it is somewhat rare.
While it's not time to panic, the Phillies are definitely thinner. It's not unique to the Phillies. The New York Mets just learned that they will lose All-Star closer Edwin Diaz for the season after tearing his patellar tendon during a postgame celebration at the World Baseball Classic.
Former Phillie David Robertson and veteran Adam Ottovino will likely get the save opportunities in his absence.