Another year, another losing season in Philadelphia. But things were a little different this year than in other losing seasons of the past.
The Phillies had an unusually high injury rate with their players.
Injuries struck the Phillies pretty hard this year. The pitching rotation has been a merry-go-round of DL stints and the outfield has suffered terribly from the injury bug. A mixture of bad players and injury never goes well in the Major League.
Yes, it’s been a long, hard year and the injuries have just added to the misery. Some of the team’s best players have had to sit on the bench because of an ailment, while the worst players such as Maikel Franco and Tommy Joseph have had barely any time out of the lineup. This factor has brought more losses to this team than any other, and that’s saying a lot for this horrible team.
Back in April when Clay Buchholz went down during his second start, we knew it was going to be a long year. He was brought on to be an innings-eater this year to aide with buying time for developing minor league pitchers and maybe a potential trade trip. Things didn’t pan out, obviously. The pitching rotation was thrown into immediate disarray that the Phillies were never able to recover from when he went down. But Buchholz was just the first brick in the wall of injuries this season.
Cesar Hernandez has completely owned this season but he was not immune to the injury bug. I would argue he’s the best player on the Phillies this season and he’s certainly playing like it. When Hernandez went on the DL a week into June, it was another blow to the Phillies. At that time, Aaron Altherr had already been crushed under the weight of carrying the offense and was showing less production at the plate, so the Phillies suffered in Hernandez’s absence.
Most recently, the pitching rotation is just limping to the finish line with both Vince Velasquez and Jerad Eickhoff on the 60-day DL, effectively ending their seasons. Both Velasquez and Eickhoff have had sub-par years, so these injuries have been a way for the Phillies to put them out of their misery.
But, this does make things cloudy going into next season. Velasquez has been an injury magnet and has never had a consistent season in Philadelphia, and Eickhoff did not look himself this season. An offseason pitching pick up is a necessity this winter.
Last month, the Phillies lost ⅔ of their starting outfield when both Altherr and Odubel Herrera were sent to the DL. While they’re supposed to return to the club before the end of the season, their missing presence is very noticeable. Besides the arrivals of Rhys Hoskins and Nick Williams, the Phillies’ offense has been hot and cold with the outfielders out.
But none of this is news to anyone. It further solidifies my point that injuries have hit Philadelphia pretty hard this year. Now with Hoskins day-to-day after being struck in the hand with a fastball, no one is truly safe from the injured year of the Phillies. Even if you are a baseball god like Hoskins.