Phillies dealing with an early case of the injury bug

Tommy Hunter #96 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Tommy Hunter #96 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images) /

Things have not looked good for the Phillies early in camp

Injuries are a common part of the game and unfortunately, the Phillies are feeling the effect of some early injuries in camp.

You can add right-handed reliever Tommy Hunter to the list of Phillies on the mend down in Clearwater after he was diagnosed with a strained flexor muscle. Manager Gabe Kapler said Hunter will be shut down for two weeks, which puts his opening day roster status in jeopardy.

The Phillies could also be without Odubel Herrera after he suffered a hamstring injury. After feeling it tweak early in camp Herrera was diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain and no timetable has been put on his return.

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Another injury more under the radar was veteran utility man Sean Rodriguez, who went down with right meniscus tear shortly after coming into camp on a minor league deal.

Pitcher Jake Arrieta also dealt with a meniscus issue this offseason, but he appears to be on track after undergoing a minor procedure.

Fellow starter Jerad Eickhoff also continues to battle carpal tunnel syndrome despite undergoing surgery in the offseason. He’s dealt with symptoms of carpal tunnel for a couple of years at this point and can’t seem to shake it.

With the exception to Rodriguez, each of the players beat up early in Phillies camp is a critical part of the team’s success this year and beyond. To potentially lose a starting outfielder and a solid back of the pen arm before opening day is nervewracking.

Hunter’s injury could open up roles for youngsters like Yacksel Rios, James Pazos, or Austin Davis in the bullpen. It’s not clear how many jobs will be available on opening day, but Seranthony Dominguez, David Robertson, Hector Neris, Pat Neshek, Adam Morgan, Jose Alvarez, and Juan Nicasio appear to be locks based on their success and contract situations.

Victor Arano was impressive last year, finishing with a 2.73 ERA and Edubray Ramos had a career-year with after he posted a 2.32 ERA in 52 games.

In center field, the Phillies could roll out Roman Quinn or Aaron Altherr should Herrera not be ready, but all of the roles on the team could change once Bryce Harper comes off the market one way or another.

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Injuries can quickly derail championship caliber teams, and hopefully, the Phils are getting their bumps and bruises out of the way and not building up towards a long season with players on the injured list.