First baseman Justin Bour was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list Sunday before the Phillies’ 8-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs and now he awaits a homecoming. Bour, who was acquired from Miami on Aug. 10, was placed on the DL Aug. 23 with an oblique muscle strain in his left side.
The Phillies begin a three-game series on Monday in Miami and then will play three games in New York against the Mets. From 2014 through this season, Bour appeared in 478 games for the Marlins. He says he won’t allow sentimentality to get in the way of his main goal upon his return.
“Obviously it is a place I spent a lot of my career, but my main focus is winning games,” Bour said.
An oblique injury can sideline a player for much longer than 10 days.
“I am fortunate that I didn’t make a mistake and let [the injury] go too far and we grabbed it right away, so I was fortunate just to miss the 10 days,” said Bour, who is 5-for-20 with a double, a home run and two RBIs in his brief time with the Phillies.
Bour didn’t play on Sunday, but manager Gabe Kapler said he was available. Kapler said the staff wanted to give him an extra day of rest.
On Monday Phillies righthander Vince Velasquez (9-9, 4.05) faces Marlins righty Jose Urena (4-12, 4.56 in a 1:10 p.m. Labor Day start. Tuesday and Wednesday will have 7:10 p.m. starts. Righthander Jake Arrieta (9-9, 3.54) faces Marlins righthander Trevor Richards (3-7, 4.26) on Tuesday. Righthander Nick Pivetta (7-10, 4.66) goes against Marlins righthander Sandy Alcantara (1-0, 180) on Wednesday.
Clearing up card concerns
The card controversy has been taken care of. In a 7-1 loss to the Cubs on Saturday, Phillies reliever Austin Davis reached in his back pocket for a card with a scouting report on it while pitching in the eighth inning. As he did it, umpire crew chief Joe West stopped play.
West said the card had to be confiscated in accordance with Rule 6.03(c)(7), which states that a pitcher may not have any foreign substance in his possession or on his person.
West filed a report and said that the commissioner’s office would provide clarification.
It turns out that the card was permitted.
In an email response to The Inquirer and Daily News, Michael Tevan vice president of communications for MLB, wrote: “We do allow reference cards by players as long as their use does not delay the game, and we have informed clubs of that. The cards do not violate 6.03(c)(7), which prohibits foreign substances being used by pitchers. Because of [Saturday’s] situation, we did reach out to clubs and clarify where we are on this.”
Phillies manager Gabe Kapler obviously was pleased with the ruling.
“I think it is great that our pitchers are able to have their game plans on them,” Kapler said Sunday. “I think it takes a lot of mental focus, takes a lot of bandwidth to get out the best hitters in baseball and when you can just take a little of that off your mind and put it on a card, I think that is helpful for pitchers and good for baseball.”
He’s been to the races
Phillies reliever Luis Avilan is happy to be back in a pennant race, which is familiar territory for the 29-year-old lefthander.
Avilan has been to the postseason four times, most recently with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2016.
“I love to win and have been to playoffs many years — it is always a fun period of time,” Avilan said before the game.
Avilan was traded from the rebuilding Chicago White Sox right into a pennant race with the Phillies, having been acquired on Aug. 22. This is his fourth major-league team, with the Atlanta Braves being the other.
“It is an honor to be here because every single time a GM makes a trade involving you, it is because they think you can make this team better,” he said.