It took a while, Phillies second baseman Scott Kingery said, but he finally started to feel like himself late last month after spending most of July recovering from the coronavirus. He missed the first 10 days of summer camp after contracting COVID-19 in Arizona and still felt short of breath as the season neared.
“And then it got to a good point,” Kingery said Friday afternoon. “But then we got shut down for seven days. So I feel like I took a step back.”
The coronavirus first took a toll on Kingery’s health, then it challenged his timing when the Miami Marlins’ outbreak cost the Phillies a week’s worth of games.
That lost time has been costly as Kingery has just two hits in his first 24 at-bats, with five strikeouts and no extra-base hits as he struggles to find comfort at the plate.
“It is a little bit difficult given the fact that we were off for seven days and then jumped back into it against a good [Yankees] pitching staff,” Kingery said. “It does feel that it’s just going to take a little bit of time, but these things do come back fast. Hopefully soon, we can get it going together, and hopefully, we don’t have any more off days that weren’t supposed to be there.”
Joe Girardi left Kingery out of his lineup on Friday night before the game was postponed, but the Phillies still seem committed for now to keeping Kingery at second base. Phil Gosselin has four extra-base hits in his first 10 at-bats and could soon make a case for more playing time. For now, the Phillies will give Kingery a chance to find his timing.
“Now it’s just about building that up and hopefully I can get back to where I was before that seven-day layoff,” he said.
Could Robertson help?
David Robertson is rehabbing at the team’s facility in Clearwater, Fla., and is still eyeing a return later this season following Tommy John surgery last August. Robertson completed a bullpen session on Thursday morning, providing an indication that he at least has a chance to join a bullpen this season that is desperate for help.
“I would love that,” Girardi said.
The Phillies signed Robertson before last season to a two-year contract worth $23 million. But the right-hander pitched in just seven games before being shut down. The Phillies are without Robertson, Seranthony Dominguez, Victor Arano, and Ranger Suarez in their bullpen this season. Arano (shoulder) is pitching in Allentown and could return if he’s healthy, and Suarez (COVID-19) is rehabbing with Robertson. The patchwork bullpen entered Friday with a 7.89 ERA, the highest in the majors. Some healthy arms are needed.
The Phillies have not yet named a starter for one of Sunday’s games, but all signs still point to Spencer Howard making his major-league debut. ... The Phillies added cardboard cutouts of the 1980 world championship team in the right-field stands to celebrate what was scheduled to be the team’s 40th reunion weekend.