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July 28, 2019

MLB rumors: Will Phillies injury list force team's hand as deadline approaches?

The Phillies organization will have a huge decision to make over the next few days, and the players aren't making it easy for Matt Klentak and company.

In more ways than one.

On the field, they just can't seem to rise to the occasion against the NL East leading Braves. Atlanta was in a slump prior to their three-game set in Philly that started Friday. Consider that slump busted. Atlanta has blown the Phils away in the first two games of the series, giving them breathing room in the division race and for the moment, putting the Phillies out of the Wild Card picture, though they are just one game behind the Cubs, Brewers and Nationals.

Will the Phillies make a push for that final playoff spot?

We've discussed that quandary at length over the last few weeks, with some optimism that perhaps they'd get some of their pitching back before July 31 to make the decision easier. Which leads us to the second reason the players are making it hard for the front office.

David Robertson, the Phillies highest profile reliever who was signed this past offseason and who can't seem to get off the injured list, appears to be no closer to coming off the injured list despite reports a few weeks ago that he would be close to returning by now.

He’s not “progressing as fast as we all had hoped he would,” manager Gabe Kapler said Saturday The Athletic. 

Here's a look at the rest of the Phillies injured list, as Jerad Eickhoff begins a rehab assignment. Eickhoff was throwing out of the bullpen when he landed on the IL. If the Phillies fail to add a starter at the deadline, he'll likely return to the rotation. However he'll need about two weeks to get ready to return. 

 PlayerInjuryEarliest ReturnStats
   Brad MillerHip August 3.234/.330/.455, 4 HR 
Jay BruceObliqueAugust 5.230/.279/.546, 24 HR
Edubray Ramos  ShoulderAugust 55.14 ERA in 14 IP 
David Robertson  Elbow???5.40 ERA in 6.2 IP 
Jerad Eickhoff BicepsAugust 115.71 ERA in 58.1 IP 
 Victor AranoElbowAugust 113.86 ERA in 4.2 IP 
Seranthony DominguezElbowAugust 154.01 ERA in 24.2 IP
 Pat NeshekHamstringSeptember 10  5.00 ERA in 18 IP
 Tommy Hunter Forearm Out for season0 ER in 5.1 IP 
 Andrew McCutchen Torn ACLOut for season.256/.378/.457, 10 HR

Seven of the 10 injured Phillies are relievers. Six of them are expected to — at some point — return and contribute. Is that enough to convince the Phillies front office to focus on non-bullpen areas of improvement?

A few minor moves have already been made by contenders (like Sergio Ramos to the Twins) and many more are expected to take place over the next three days.

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