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April 20, 2019

Phillies lose Andrew McCutchen, Scott Kingery as injury bug continues to bite

Just when the Phillies were closing in on getting shortstop Jean Segura back from a hamstring injury, the Phillies may have just lost a pair of position players, including Segura's backup, as left fielder Andrew McCutchen (knee) and utility infielder Scott Kingery (hamstring) both left the game with injuries.

And, to add insult to injury, the Phillies dropped their second straight to the Rockies, 4-3, in extra innings on Friday night. Here's more from the Associated Press:

Kingery left midway through the fourth inning after suffering a strained right hamstring. McCutchen came out in the sixth inning with left knee inflammation.

McCutchen, aboard with a walk, came up sore after advancing to second on a single by Phil Gosselin. He was replaced by pinch-runner Aaron Altherr.

Kingery was injured running out an inning-ending fielder's choice. He pulled up after running past first base and a trainer hustled out from the Phillies' dugout to check on him. Kingery walked gingerly back to the dugout and was replaced in the field by Phil Gosselin.  []

Manager Gabe Kapler told reporters after the game that Segura, who isn't on the IL but has missed each of the last three games, is nearing a return. That being said, the Phillies' injuries have been adding up of late, and depending on the severity of each, the team could soon find themselves in need of roster moves. The Phillies had been using Phil Gosselin, who was called up when Segura was hurt, in place of Kingery as the backup infielder. Now, if Segura is still unavailable on Saturday night, Gosselin will be forced into the starting role as he's the only infielder on the bench — Nick Williams and Aaron Altherr are outfielders and Andrew Knapp is a catcher.  

Earlier in the week, after Segura went down and Odubel Herrera came up limping against the Mets, our own Evan Macy took a look at the Phillies depth and whether or not they can withstand a rash of injuries like the one they're currently facing. Here's where the team could find some help if they have to look outside the 25-man roster.

Mitch Walding is on the 40-man, but is struggling in Triple-A, hitting .214 while starting at third base.

Arquimedes Gamboa, a 21-year-old shortstop prospect who holds a 40-man roster spot has also been dreadful with the bat through nine games, hitting .086 so far.

Dylan Cozens, who has played a little in the bigs, is likely the next man up. He plays outfield and first base and has hit four homers in his first 13 games in Lehigh Valley. However, he is also off to a slow start hitting just .178.

Roman Quinn is nearing full health after getting injured this spring. In seven rehab starts he has hit .340. He remains on the DL but could be brought up soon.

Naturally, this injury comes at the worst possible time for Kingery, who had been hitting well as of late (13 for his last 28) and was beginning to show why the Phillies signed him to a then-record contract before he even made his MLB debut. Healthy or not, however, Kingery is going to see his playing time begin to dwindle again when Segura returns anyway, especially with Cesar Hernandez and Maikel Franco locked in at second and third base, respectively.

And so the Phillies have been working on other ways to use Kingery.

Kingery, when healthy, can move around the infield and fill in when those three need a rest, but the playing time will be far from regular. So, the Phillies were hoping to try him in the outfield, where he played sparingly last season, to keep him in the lineup...

Kapler has longed to mold Kingery into a player like Chris Taylor, who started 128 games last season for the Dodgers while playing four positions. Kingery, a natural second baseman, can handle himself at shortstop and third base. He’s also the team’s emergency catcher. The next frontier is the outfield, where he started five games last season.  []

So it appears that Kingery, the team's best utility player, could get some looks in the Phillies outfield — once he's healthy again, of course.

The Phillies, who have dropped the first two games of their series in Colorado and are 11-8 on the season, return to action on Saturday night with Aaron Nola on the hill.

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