Rhys Hoskins was able to finish the last 10 innings of Monday night’s loss with a sore left ankle, but the swelling that developed overnight proved to be enough on Tuesday to keep him out of the lineup for the first time this season.
Hoskins, who classified the injury as a mild ankle sprain, expects to return to the lineup on Wednesday afternoon. An X-ray after Monday night’s game was negative. Manager Gabe Kapler said he would be willing to use Hoskins as a pinch hitter in Tuesday night’s game.
“Just some swelling that I have to get out of there,” Hoskins said. “Nothing too crazy. It’s just a matter of getting the swelling out tonight and seeing progress tomorrow. I was able to do mostly everything today with little to no pain. I was pretty encouraged by that.”
Hoskins was replaced at first base by Maikel Franco, who moved from third base and allowed Scott Kingery to enter the lineup at third base. The Phillies considered playing Kingery in center field before they needed him at third base with Hoskins injury.
The injury occurred in the first inning, when Hoskins jammed his ankle into second base after being tagged out on a slide. Hoskins ran to second on the back end of a double steal, with Jean Segura heading to third. It was a curious decision, since Hoskins is not the team’s fastest runner and had attempted just 10 steals before the play.
“The first-and-second double steal there is a fairly low-probability play,” Kapler said. “We don’t want to be running in that situation. That’s on us as a staff. We’ll clean it up.”
The Phillies wanted to be aggressive on the base paths Monday night against Mets righthander Noah Syndergaard, who has had trouble holding runners. But that aggressiveness cost them one of their best players, at least for one night.
“We’ll continue to identify guys who teams are having success running on, and we’ll be more aggressive in those situations than normal,” Kapler said. “However, we still have to be smart about the game situation.”
Hoskins was checked by the trainers after he was slow to get up from his slide. They wrapped his ankle, and he finished the game. His painful night became a bit worse in the 11th inning, when Hoskins misplayed a sharp grounder and allowed the Mets to score the winning run. He said it was a play he had to make.
“I think it’s a play that he can make,” Kapler said. “I think he has the ability to make that play.”
Hoskins, knowing he was out of the lineup, still arrived to the ballpark early enough for fielding drills with infield coach Bobby Dickerson. After spending most of last season in left field, Hoskins remains a work in progress on defense.
“Very generally, positive,” Kapler said about Hoskins’ defense this season.
Aaron Nola spent part of Tuesday afternoon reviewing video with pitching coach Chris Young, as they searched for a cause of Nola’s rough beginning to the season. Nola allowed five runs in four innings on Monday night and has a 7.45 ERA after four starts. He entered Tuesday with the worst ERA among 47 major-league pitchers who have pitched at least 19 innings.