Rhys Hoskins is a crucial piece to the Philadelphia Phillies offense.
Even with Hoskins being one of the more streaky players in Major League Baseball, he’s finishing his 2021 season with 27 home runs, 29 doubles, 71 RBIs, and an .864 OPS. His OPS+ (OPS adjusted to the player’s ballpark) is 133 — 33 points about the league average.
However, following a recent report regarding Hoskins’ injury status, the Phillies find themselves in an ugly situation.
Rhys Hoskins will reportedly miss the remainder of the 2021 season
Following a stay on the injured list earlier in August, Hoskins attempted to return to the Phillies’ starting lineup. He was limited to playing every other day and looked noticeably uncomfortable moving around at first base.
Still, the veteran slugger labored through a few appearances, hitting three home runs in the two games he started. While his swings looked pretty, it was becoming increasingly clear that Hoskins was playing through a dangerous amount of pain. The Phillies sent him back to the IL before their game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on August 26, ending his season as he now prepares for surgery.
Even with over a month left of baseball to be played, you can stick a fork in the Phillies. Cracking the postseason was a long shot even with Hoskins in the lineup. Now it looks borderline impossible.
The Phillies don’t have the depth to overcome Rhys Hoskins’ injury
Injuries are a part of sports; the Phillies aren’t the only team in baseball history to suffer a crippling roster blow down the home stretch. However, the Phillies are a team with zero-depth behind Hoskins capable of mirroring his production.
The Phillies’ primary Hoskins replacement, Brad Miller, is batting .213 this season and .154 since May 26. Alec Bohm, the Phillies’ top young hitter who’s seen time at first base in the past, was recently optioned to AAA following previous defensive struggles at third base.
Outside of those two? Nothing.
The Phillies have no other backup first basemen on the MLB roster and zero prospects in the minor leagues worthy of seeing reps right now. Miller will presumably continue to play at first for the remainder of the year, making the Phillies’ chances of sneaking into the postseason that much slimmer.
2021 is another failed year for the Phillies
The Phillies last made the postseason in 2011. Since then, they’ve tried everything to get back there.
They went through a multi-year rebuilding phase between 2013 and 2017, which yielded little major league talent. They spent tons of money on free agents Bryce Harper, Andrew McCutchen, Didi Gregorius, and Zack Wheeler. Harper and Wheeler, for example, have been very good since joining Philadelphia, but haven’t been able to make up for the team’s lackluster performers.
The Phillies also brought in two well-known baseball minds in Joe Girardi and Dave Dombrowski. The jury is still out on Dombrowski, but Girardi has largely been disappointing. All of these (expensive) changes with nothing to show for it.
Losing Hoskins is what the Phillies will likely blame their poor season on, but the truth of the matter is that serious change needs to occur this offseason if the team wants to return to October baseball.
All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference.