Phillies Injury Updates: Kendrick on Mend, Altherr Has Tear
The Phillies received some bad news on Wednesday regarding outfielder Aaron Altherr while getting some good news on outfielder Howie Kendrick. Kendrick took some ground balls and fly ball in Miami prior to the Phillies finale against the Marlins and is headed to a rehab assignment at Double-A Reading. Altherr, though, will be out longer than expected.
Already on the 10-day disabled list for what they thought was a short stay for a pulled hamstring, the Phillies learned that Altherr's injury was worse than expected after an MRI revealed a tear. The sprain will mean that Altherr will miss between three and four weeks, leaving the Phillies without one of their most productive hitters into August.
Luckily for the Phillies, Cesar Hernandez returned from the disabled list and took his familiar place at the top of the Phillies lineup, to help negate some of the lost production.
When Kendrick returns to the Phillies he presumably will slot right back into left field, with Odubel Herrera remaining in center and Nick Williams sticking around to play right field. Williams might have returned to the minors when the Phillies were back to full strength, though his play probably would have created a logjam of sorts. The injury to Altherr means Williams will continue to start in right field.
Altherr suffered the injury running to second base on a double hit Friday evening against the Marlins in Miami. Altherr was batting .228 with 14 home runs and 44 runs batted in, carrying an .898 OPS.
With the trade deadline under two weeks away, all eyes will be on the veteran Kendrick. When healthy, Kendrick was one of the most consistent Phillies hitters. In 33 games, Kendrick was batting .349 when he went onto the disabled list with an oblique injury.
While Kendrick will not have much time to showcase his health prior to the July 31 trade deadline, he still may draw trade interest from teams looking for a veteran to plug into the outfield or infield. Kendrick's $10 million salary might make him a candidate to be traded before the August 31 waiver trade deadline, as teams might not claim Kendrick, afraid to take on his full salary. The Phillies likely would be willing to eat money if they bring back talent in return.
Kendrick's last rehab assignment at Triple-A Lehigh Valley lasted just four games, so Kendrick could be back in Philadelphia by early next week.