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June 27, 2023

Phillies injury updates: Are reinforcements, Andrew Painter on the way?

And what's the latest on a big league return for Darick Hall and Andrew Bellatti?

The Phillies have been shorthanded for most of the season, from their slugging first baseman being out for the year, his backup out for months, the top prospect in the farm system sidelined and the NLCS MVP unable to play in the field. 

They seem to be on the mend and nearing some reinforcements, and that's good news for a club that has struggled with depth all year long.

Here's a quick look at some currently injured Phillies:

Andrew Painter, SP

We'll start with Painter, who was in the mix for the fifth-starter spot in spring training before an arm injury and some caution sent him to the dugout. In recent weeks, in contrast to the Phillies struggling to send a fifth guy to the mound from the rotation, Painter has been ramping up. 

At this current rate, Painter should begin throwing live pitching in July somewhere in the minors. It seems possible he could pitch in the majors in August if the organization decides to go that route.

But a lot of the Painter decision will depend on what the front office does at the trade deadline. With a solid four starters all pitching relatively well right now, the team seems poised to be a buyer at the deadline and could add a fifth starter for the playoff run. If they do that, it could mean they're going to wait a year on Painter.

Darick Hall, 1B

News percolated that current DH and usual outfielder Bryce Harper would return to the field at first base before he goes back to right field — as he continues to play and recover from Tommy John Surgery at the same time — but if Hall continues mashing the ball like he has in the minors, the team could solve their first base issue pretty soon and simply.

Hall is hitting .316 in Lehigh Valley with two homers and 11 RBI spread over 76 at-bats. The issue for the Phillies with Hall is deciding who to jettison from the bench in the majors to open up a roster spot for him. Kody Clemens is the only position-playing, non-everyday player with minor-league options remaining. Christian Pache, Edmundo Sosa and Josh Harrison would be exposed to waivers if they were demoted.

Seranthony Domínguez, RP

According to The Athletic's Matt Gelb, Domínguez is throwing again for the first time since sustaining an oblique injury. If he is able to ramp up his throwing program and get some rehab work in, he could rejoin the team sometime after the mid-July All-Star Break. The Phils could desperately use another proven righty out of the pen right now.

Andrew Bellatti, RP

Bellatti has been healthy since the end of May but for whatever reason the Phillies have chosen to let him stay down in the minors — where he's been excellent. The World Series contributor has tossed 13 innings in Triple-A and has a 1.38 ERA with 17 strikeouts over that span. If the Phillies need to mix things up (and maybe send Dylan Covey packing) Bellatti could be returning soon.

Noah Song, RP

The former Navy pitcher is set for his rehab work in the minors next week. If he pitches well the Phillies would be very happy to have even more depth and options on the mound as the summer continues.

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