Phillies Put Hembree on IL; Moniak, Rosso Return as Harper Starts
The Phillies saw Bryce Harper depart from Sunday's game to great alarm from Phillies fans. With a playoff spot in sight, the Phillies could not afford to lose Harper, already down Rhys Hoskins and J.T. Realmuto. The Phillies got good news on the Harper front Monday and made a series of moves ahead of the start of the four-game series against the Washington Nationals.
When the Phillies posted Monday's starting lineup, Harper was in it. He will rest his sore back by serving as the day's designated hitter. Harper appeared to aggravate something in his back in a play in right field on Sunday.
While Harper is in the lineup as designated hitter, that means Realmuto is not. There was some hope that Realmuto could serve as the designated hitter today. Realmuto remains out.
The Phillies will field an outfield Monday night consisting of Jay Bruce in right field, Roman Quinn in center, and Adam Haseley in left field. Alec Bohm will serve as first baseman.
Meanwhile, the Phillies announced that reliever Heath Hembree was placed on the 10-day injured list with an elbow strain. Hembree struggled in the Phillies bullpen since being acquired in a trade with the Boston Red Sox. The injury opened up an opportunity for some outfield depth.
Mickey Moniak, optioned just Sunday, will return. While players must remain optioned for 10 days, an exception can be made in an injury. The Phillies need the outfield help since Harper is hurting, and Moniak will provide some protection.
Adonis Medina was optioned to Triple-A after Sunday's start. That likely means Vince Velasquez will get one more start the rest of the way. The Phillies need to use the bullpen for game two of tomorrow's doubleheader either way, since both Medina and Velasquez recently pitched. Jake Arrieta and Spencer Howard remain on the injured list.
Returning to the bullpen in place of is Ramon Rosso. Rosso started one of the bullpen games and gave the Phillies two-plus innings. Rosso could be used during Tuesday's doubleheader, which has no scheduled starter.