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July 05, 2019

Phillies injury updates: Reeling bullpen will need to wait for reinforcements

The Phillies have had the second worst bullpen in all of baseball since June 1, with a putrid 6.67 ERA. Most of the blame for that goes to, you know, the eight pitchers currently on the team who are unable to get the job done.

But it is hard to ignore the fact that six of the Phillies seven current players on the injured list are bullpen arms. 

The latest, Juan Nicasio, was added Thursday with a minor groin injury, forcing the club to recall Austin Davis, who allowed three runs in one frame as the Phils dropped two of three to the NL East-leading Braves.

July is a critically important month, as the team will need to decide if they plan to bring in some help — likely in the form of a bullpen arm or starting pitcher — before the July 31 trade deadline. The team is still in the mix for one of the two Wild Card spots in the NL, but trails Atlanta by 6.5 games for the division crown and is in third place for the first time this season.

They will hopefully get some help as players come off the injured list. Unfortunately, though, none of those returns appear to be imminent. Here's a look at their current list of injured players:

 PlayerInjuryProjected ReturnStats
Juan NicasioGroinJuly 145.24 ERA in 34.1 IP
Pat NeshekHamstring
July 245.00 ERA in 18 IP 
David Robertson
July 305.40 ERA in 6.2 IP
Jerad EickhoffBiceps 
July 30
5.71 ERA in 58.1 IP
Victor AranoElbowAugust 13.86 ERA in 4.2 IP
Seranthony Dominguez
August 1
4.01 ERA in 24.2 IP
 Andrew McCutchen Torn ACLOut for season.256/.378/.457, 10 HR

A few tidbits. Robertson is throwing, finally, and reportedly is on track to start rehabbing sometime soon, with a target date for a return of July 30. His veteran presence and experience will be key, if he can resemble any part of the dominating back of the bullpen arm he was in previous seasons. 

Nicasio, as we said, has a minor injury and the hope is he will be back in just 10 days — but rarely do players last only 10 days on the injured list.

You'll also notice rookie outfielder Adam Haseley is no longer listed, but not on the MLB roster. Presumably, for the time being, the Phillies are content to keep Roman Quinn on the team as their fourth outfielder. Haseley is in Triple-A, where he was originally placed on a rehab assignment. He is hitting .283 in Lehigh Valley and appears to be nearing full health.

The Phillies will get a little relief later this week, as following a three-game set against the Mets they'll have most of next week off for the All Star break. There are few teams in baseball more in need of this time off than Philadelphia.

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