Phillies likely to send Cesar Hernandez to disabled list with oblique injury

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Jun 4, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Cesar Hernandez (16) slides safely into home during the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 4, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Cesar Hernandez (16) slides safely into home during the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Phillies are likely to be missing their starting second baseman for some time as Cesar Hernandez may be headed to the disabled list.

Cesar Hernandez was absent from the Phillies starting lineup Saturday afternoon against the Cardinals. Andres Blanco was starting at second base for Hernandez.

Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reported that Hernandez is likely bound for the disabled list. The second baseman hurt his oblique making a throw Friday night in St. Louis.

This oblique injury is expected to land Hernandez on the disabled list. Salisbury said the team could make the move Sunday when Joaquin Benoit is ready to be activated from the DL after his knee injury.

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Hernandez could very well be on the disabled list for a significant amount of time. Howie Kendrick missed six weeks earlier this season with an oblique injury he suffered just a week and a half into the season. Normally, the injury takes at least three weeks to heal.

Hernandez had been struggling of late after a hot start to the season. He had a .323/.375/.531 line in April before cooling off, hitting for a .246/.310/.310 line since May started.

In the meantime, Kendrick is expected to take Hernandez’s place at second base. Kendrick is a second baseman by trade, logging 1112 games at second in his 12-year career. He has been playing left field for the Phils with Hernandez firmly implanted at second up to now.

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Meanwhile, Daniel Nava could become the new everyday left fielder as opposed to inserting Michael Saunders back into the starting lineup. Manager Pete Mackanin said he is going to keep Kendrick, Odubel Herrera, and Aaron Altherr in the starting lineup as long as they keep hitting. 

Nava has also been hitting well, posting a .306/.436/.452 line in 34 games this year. Saunders has been struggling after signing a nine-million dollar, one-year deal for this year.

Fans will certainly be clamoring for a look at Scott Kingery with Hernandez injured.

In 56 games at Double-A, Kingery has a 1.000 OPS with 17 home runs and 13 stolen bases. However, it is far more likely that he first takes a stop at Triple-A before he reaches the majors. There is no reason to rush the 23-year old.

Next: Phillies Opposition Roadblock: St. Louis Cardinals

Just Friday the team traded away minor-league infielder Taylor Featherston to the Rays for cash. It’s a bit ironic that Hernandez would be injured the same day they trade away Featherston, but it isn’t like they are lacking in middle infield depth.

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