It appears likely that Phillies 1B Rhys Hoskins will be ready for Opening Day.
The Philadelphia Phillies sorely missed first baseman Rhys Hoskins over the 17 final games of the 2020 season, as the team went just 5-12 without him and finished only one game out of qualifying for the postseason for the first time since 2011.
Hoskins missed more than half of September after being sidelined due to an injury to the ulnar collateral ligament in his non-throwing elbow. After the season, the four-year veteran underwent an internal brace repair, rather than Tommy John surgery, with the hopes he would be able to return much sooner than had he undergone the latter procedure.
So far, all signs point toward to that happening. On New Year’s Eve, Hoskins posted a promising video on social media of him swinging in a batting cage.
“Progress! [I] appreciate everyone for the love, it didn’t go unnoticed,” Hoskins said. “[I am] on track for spring training and I miss it like crazy. Have a safe and happy New Year fam, 2021 is going to be a good one.”
In 41 games this past season, Hoskins slashed .245/.384/.503 with nine doubles, 10 home runs, and 26 RBI, while walking 29 times across 185 plate appearances. His slash line was much-improved from a disappointing .226/.364/.454 showing in 2019.
The Phillies hope Hoskins will be ready for the start of the 2021 season, which is currently scheduled for Thursday, April 1, home against the Atlanta Braves, but could be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last month, Phillies manager Joe Girardi told reporters that he is optimistic Hoskins will be ready for Opening Day. While the skipper said the slugger may be slightly behind, his rehabilitation overall is going well.
If the season is pushed back, that will only provide Hoskins more time to return to full strength in the team’s second season under Girardi.