Things haven’t been going well for Phillies outfielder Rhys Hoskins lately. In 112 plate appearances since April 28, he’s hitting .134/.234/.247 with two home runs and nine RBI. Hoskins has hit mostly second in the lineup over the last month. His slump has limited the Phillies to a 13-13 record and the club has averaged four runs per game in that span of time, lower than the league average of 4.3 runs per game.
The Phillies were down to their last strike, trailing by a run, last night against Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, and it was all up to Hoskins. As if things couldn’t go worse for Hoskins, he swung at a fastball that ran in on his hands, fouling it into his mouth. Hoskins, bleeding from his mouth, left with a trainer and Pedro Florimon pinch-hit, striking out to end the game.
Manager Gabe Kapler was non-committal when asked if Hoskins would be well enough to play Wednesday night. He took the opportunity to give the slumping Hoskins a vote of confidence. Via Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia, Kapler said, “I want to see how he’s feeling. But, if he’s feeling like he’s healthy enough to play and there is no risk to him playing, he’s always going to be one of our best options.”
Kapler continued, “I think it’s reasonable to say that Rhys has gone through some tough challenges recently, but I don’t worry about him at all. I think he’s as tough mentally as we have on our club. I have a tremendous amount of faith in his mental toughness and his physical capability. That never wavers. There is no doubt in my mind things are going to turn around for Rhys and hes’ going to take off.”
Hoskins, 25, tore up minor league pitching last year, mashing 29 home runs and driving in 91 runs with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, earning a promotion to the majors in August. Hoskins went on to hit 18 home runs and drive in 39 runs in his first 34 major league games. Hoskins also hit well to begin the 2018 season, compiling a 1.098 OPS with four homers in the first 25 games of the year.
Hoskins says he’s going to wear a helmet with the protective flap now: