On Thursday, the Phillies officially placed outfielder Rhys Hoskins on the 10-day disabled list with a fractured jaw. To fill his roster spot, the club promoted outfielder Dylan Cozens from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Hoskins, 25, fouled a ball off of his face in the ninth inning of Monday’s loss to the Dodgers. He was held out of Tuesday and Wednesday’s lineups before a CT scan revealed the fracture.
Cozens is celebrating his 24th birthday today, so that’s quite a nice gift to receive. Cozens has been a one-dimensional slugger in the minors, mashing 40 homers and knocking in 125 runs for Double-A Reading in 2016. He hit 27 homers and drove in 75 runs at Triple-A last year. This year, he’s batting .226/.325/.440 with 10 home runs and 25 RBI in 197 plate appearances.
Nick Williams, Aaron Altherr, and Odubel Herrera will comprise the starting outfield while Hoskins is out. Cozens may draw the odd start but he will mostly serve as a bench bat in his first stint in the majors.
The first truly big free agent signing of the offseason has gone down: the Chicago White Sox just announced that they have signed catcher Yasmani Grandal to a four-year, $73 million deal.
Grandal, 31, was the best catcher available in free agency. He is coming off a fine year with the Milwaukee Brewers, with whom he had to settle for a one-year pact in 2019. He hit .246/.380/.468 with 28 homers and 77 driven in. It was his fourth straight season with 20+ homers. While his catching has been criticized due to some high-profile mistakes in the postseason, the two-time All-Star once again proved himself to be one of the best pitch-framers in the game if not the best. Between the bat and the glove he has a claim to being one of the best all-around catchers in baseball.
The signing leaves open the question of what happens to James McCann, who was himself an All-Star this year. It’s not that hard a question, of course, as Grandal is a far superior catcher to McCann in every respect. The Sox could make McCann a backup. Alternatively, they could try to trade him to fill other holes on the roster.
The White Sox finished 72-89 in 2019 but are showing signs of coming out of rebuilding mode and into contention mode. This signing pushes them a big step into that direction.