Phillies mulling Tommy John surgery for Rhys Hoskins

Rhys Hoskins #17 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)
Rhys Hoskins #17 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images) /

Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins could possibly require season-ending Tommy John surgery

The Philadelphia Phillies return to Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday to kick off their final homestand of the shortened 2020 season. They will be without first baseman Rhys Hoskins for its entirety — with series opposite their division-rival New York Mets and the American League East’s Toronto Blue Jays.

The Phillies continue to evaluate the extent of Hoskins’ UCL injury to his non-throwing (left) elbow suffered on Saturday. And, prior to Tuesday’s game against the Mets, they officially placed him on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to September 13) with a left elbow strain.

Other transactions the Phillies made early Tuesday evening include reinstating outfielder Roman Quinn from the 7-day concussion injured list, recalling lefty reliever Garrett Cleavinger from their alternate training site, and designating infielder Ronald Torreyes for assignment.

Given Hoskins’ injury to his UCL, the ligament often requires Tommy John surgery when torn. Phillies manager Joe Girardi said that while it is currently unclear, the team cannot rule out this surgery possibility for Hoskins; for now, they await further information.

“Girardi says Hoskins has another doctor appointment [on Tuesday] and isn’t sure if they will make a decision on surgery right away,” The Athletic’s Meghan Montemurro writes. “While he’s on the IL the focus will be on making sure Hoskins has the grip strength needed to still hit/DH, if possible.”

While having Tommy John surgery is never the ideal scenario, it is important to note that position players are not sidelined for as long as pitchers would be undergoing the same surgery. A notable comparison would be Zack Cozart, who had Tommy John surgery on his non-throwing arm in early August 2011 and was the Cincinnati Reds’ Opening Day starting shortstop in 2012.

However, if Hoskins requires the surgery, he surely would be sidelined for the remainder of the 2020 season — including the Phillies’ possible first postseason appearance since 2011.

With Hoskins is out for the foreseeable future, Girardi told reporters that he is considering several player options to fill in at first base. Rookie Alec Bohm will get the first nod for Tuesday’s series opener, batting thirdPhil Gosselin and Jay Bruce, who is expected to soon return, can also fill in.

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