Phillies' starting pitching, catching injuries worrisome as season nears
Phillies pitchers Cristopher Sánchez and Nick Nelson suffer injuries, while Ranger Suárez is on the mend
The 2023 Philadelphia Phillies regular season is quickly approaching, but the organization announced less-than-ideal news regarding the team's starting pitching depth following their 9-8 win against the New York Yankees on Wednesday.
As the saying goes, when it rains, it pours. Along with being without their Nos. 2 and 3 catchers — Garrett Stubbs (sore right knee) and Rafael Marchán (bruised right hamate) — two of their starting pitchers are also trending in the negative direction in terms of health.
According to MLB.com's Todd Zolecki, left-hander Cristopher Sánchez and right-hander Nick Nelson are experiencing triceps tightness and a left hamstring strain, respectively.
Neither were expected to be rotation mainstays, but considering the Phillies already lacked starting pitching depth, their bullpen will at least take an early hit as it relates to long relief support. Top prospect Andrew Painter has also recently been shut down for a few weeks with a right proximal ulnar collateral ligament sprain.
The good news is Ranger Suárez has resumed throwing after experiencing left forearm tightness in the World Baseball Classic. The Phillies will know in a few days whether the left-hander will be ready for the start of the season. In the meantime, Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola, Taijuan Walker, and Bailey Falter appear healthy and ready to go, with Michael Plassmeyer available as an emergency backup option for Suárez.
It is not quite time to "sound the alarm," but another injury to a Phillies catcher or starting pitcher would be concerning for a club seeking to build on the momentum from its surprise 2022 World Series appearance. Already in a competitive division with the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets each projected to win more than 90 games, the Phillies cannot afford any such setback.