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Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins gets cortisone shot to help speed recovery from groin injury

The slugging first baseman will travel to the West Coast with the Phillies next week in the hopes that he will be able to return before the end of the trip.

Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins received a cortisone injection Friday to help speed his recovery from a groin injury.
Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins received a cortisone injection Friday to help speed his recovery from a groin injury.Read moreYONG KIM / Staff Photographer

To hear Rhys Hoskins tell it, his strained left groin has gotten better with rest over the last week. But it isn’t improving as quickly as the Phillies hoped Aug. 6, when they chose to put the slugging first baseman on the 10-day injured list.

And so, Hoskins received a cortisone injection Friday, a treatment that he said is designed to “speed the process up” but will leave him doubtful to be activated for the start of a West Coast trip next week.

“You’re supposed to take a day at least to let it set in,” Hoskins said before Saturday’s game at Citizens Bank Park. “We did that [Friday]. If it continues to set in and it feels better and better it’s kind of just a tolerance thing at that point. See how it goes.”

Hoskins, who said he hasn’t been told when he will be cleared to resume running, injured his groin while diving awkwardly for a line drive in the second game of a July 29 doubleheader against the Nationals. He missed four games, then played three in a row in Washington before going on the injured list and missing the last eight games.

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When Hoskins came back initially, manager Joe Girardi told him to be cautious about running at full speed right away. Hoskins isn’t sure if he aggravated the injury during the three games against the Nationals, but he did run the bases frequently after getting five hits, including two doubles.

“The biggest thing those couple days in Washington was just running,” Hoskins said. “Swinging the bat was fine, quick little movements in the field were pretty good. It was just trying to get to a full sprint. Luckily it’s not a huge part of my game, the speed aspect. But you’ve still got to be able to run second to home, first to home, stuff like that.”

Hoskins will accompany the Phillies to Arizona for a series that begins Tuesday night. He’s hopeful of being able to come back before the West Coast trip concludes next Sunday in San Diego.

In the meantime, he has gotten attention on social media for his cheerleading. Hoskins’ celebration of Phillies home runs over the last week has been, well, animated, with the removal of his hat and sunglasses, stunned facial expressions, and lots of shouting.

Hoskins insisted his reactions weren’t planned out.

“No way,” he said. “I don’t know, man. We’ve got such a cool view of these homers. A lot of them have been in huge, huge situations. The atmosphere of [last] weekend was just incredible. Who doesn’t love homers?”

Bohm sits again

Struggling third baseman Alec Bohm was consigned to the bench for a third consecutive game while he continues to work on his defense in pregame drills.

When might he get back in the lineup?

“I’m just letting him do his work,” said Girardi, who noted Friday that he still considers Bohm to be the starting third baseman even though Ronald Torreyes has now started five consecutive games at the position. “He’s been working really hard so that’s what we need him to do, get him back on track.”

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With the Phillies scheduled to face another right-handed starting pitcher (Cincinnati’s Sonny Gray) on Sunday, it’s possible Bohm will remain on the bench for the series finale against the Reds.

If Bohm was swinging the bat more consistently, the Phillies may be more apt to live with his defensive shortcomings. But although Bohm is batting .304 since the beginning of June, only 10 of his 51 hits have been for extra bases. With a .347 slugging percentage, he ranks 168th among 183 players with at least 300 plate appearances.

Extra bases

Rookie left-hander Bailey Falter returned from the COVID-19 restricted list, as expected, and will be used in a high-leverage relief role, according to Girardi. In a corresponding move, the Phillies designated reliever David Paulino for assignment. ... The Phillies also added a fresh arm by recalling right-hander Adonis Medina, who has a 4.94 ERA in 13 starts at triple-A Lehigh Valley, and optioning outfielder Mickey Moniak. ... Right-handers Sam Coonrod (forearm) and Vince Velasquez (blister) threw live batting practice. Zach Eflin (knee) will do the same Sunday. ... Aaron Nola (7-6, 4.35 ERA) will start the series finale Sunday against Gray (4-6, 4.40).