The Phillies announced a batch of injuries to reporters, including Matt Gelb of The Athletic (Twitter links). Left-hander Cristopher Sánchez and right-hander Nick Nelson have both been shut down, due to triceps soreness and a moderate hamstring injury, respectively. Catcher Garrett Stubbs is headed for an MRI on his sore right knee while fellow backstop Rafael Marchán hasn’t played in eight days and can’t currently hit due to a bruised right hamate.
Sánchez, 26, has made just 22 major league appearances thus far in his career, but he notched a strong 3.14 ERA in Triple-A last year. He struck out 24.4% of batters faced at that level, walked just 8.4% and got grounders at a very strong 62% clip.
As of a few weeks ago, he wasn’t expected to be a key piece of the club’s rotation, but some recent developments have thinned out the club’s depth in that department. Andrew Painter has been shut down with a UCL sprain while Ranger Suárez has been dealing with some forearm tightness. Painter will be shut down for four weeks, taking him out of consideration for the Opening Day rotation. Suárez, meanwhile, has been throwing but it’s still unclear if he’ll be ready for the start of the season. Gelb also relays that the club is encouraged by his progress but his overall timelines are still murky.
The club should still have a strong front of their rotation, with Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler and Taijuan Walker taking three spots. Bailey Falter previously seemed like he would have to compete with Painter for a spot but that’s no longer the case, likely pushing him into the mix. The fifth spot could go to Suárez if he’s healthy enough to take it. If not, Sánchez would have been in the mix to jump in there but that’s probably not on the table any longer. The club hasn’t provided a timeline on his expected absence but the fact that he has been shut down from throwing with just two weeks until Opening Day isn’t encouraging.
If none of Painter, Suárez or Sánchez are available, the Phils have Michael Plassmeyer and James McArthur on their 40-man roster. Arthur has yet to reach Triple-A and only made 13 Double-A starts last year due to injury. Plassmeyer has two big league appearances and tossed 128 1/3 Triple-A innings last year with a 4.21 ERA.
In the case of Nelson, he was going to be in the mix for a job in the club’s bullpen. He tossed 68 2/3 innings for the club last year with a 4.85 ERA, 22.5% strikeout rate, 11.8% walk rate and 39.8%…
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