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.
Some good news for the Nationals today: All-Star hurler Max Scherzer is due back from the injured list this week, this time (hopefully) for good. He’s slated to start during Thursday’s series finale against the Pirates.
It’s been a long road back for the right-hander, who earned his seventh consecutive All-Star designation after heading into the break with a 2.30 ERA, 5.6 fWAR, and a league-leading 7.56 SO/BB rate. An untimely back injury forced him to the injured list in the days leading up to the All-Star Game, however, and he hasn’t returned in any kind of part-time or full-time capacity since.
While Scherzer was originally expected to pitch for the Nationals sometime during their weekend series versus the Brewers, manager Dave Martinez elected to push back his return date by a few days. It’s not clear whether he felt some lingering pain during his 64-pitch simulated start on Saturday or whether the Nationals simply want to play it safe with their ace, but either way, the club apparently feels like Scherzer will be back to full strength before the end of the week.
If so, his return would be a significant asset to the Nationals, who could use a sub-3.00 ERA, 5.0-fWAR starter to help bolster their standing in the NL East. Still, there’s no guarantee that the veteran righty is ready to shoulder a full-time role in Washington’s rotation, nor is it certain that he’ll be able to match his results from the first half of the season. In one start between IL stints last month, he dealt five innings of three-run, two-walk, eight-strikeout ball in an 8-7 loss to the Rockies.