The Philadelphia Phillies are watching the postseason from home again, and Tommy John surgery for Rhys Hoskins extends their bad luck into 2021
The Philadelphia Phillies fell short of expectations again this year, finishing below .500 (28-32). General manager Matt Klentak stepped down a few days ago, and now there’s bad news on the injury front. According to Matt Gelb of The Athletic, first baseman Rhys Hoskins underwent Tommy John surgery on his left elbow last Friday and he will be sidelined 4-6 months.
Hoskins hit .245/.384/.503 with 10 home runs and 26 RBI over 41 games (185 plate appearances) this season. But he did not play after Sept. 12 as his non-throwing elbow became an issue, as Tommy John surgery surfaced as a possibility.
Not being a pitcher and having surgery on his non-throwing elbow are two big factors working in Hoskins’ favor. Six months from now is right around Opening Day 2021, so there’s a chance he’s ready for the start of the next season. That said, as cited by MLB Trade Rumors, Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks had the same surgery last October and he wouldn’t have been ready until June.
Hoskins is also arbitration-eligible for the first time this offseason, so his bargaining power is impacted by his injury. On the surface his 29 home runs and 85 RBI in 2019 don’t look too bad, and he also took an NL-high 116 walks. But he needed 160 games and over 700 plate appearances to get to those power numbers, and he only hit .226.
Rhys Hoskins rebounded nicely at the plate in 2020
In 2018, Hoskins hit .246/.354/.496 with 34 home runs and 96 RBI with an .850 OPS over 153 games. His OPS (.887) went back to that level his this year, and 162-game pace was 39 home runs and 103 RBI (153-game pace: 37 home runs and 97 RBI).
Once he recovers from Tommy John surgery, Hoskins will still be a middle of the lineup fixture for the Phillies going forward. But a significant injury setback just fits with the team’s fortunes this year, and extends some uncertainty into 2021.