SAN FRANCISCO -- Jean Segura stopped near the Phillies’ dugout after playing catch here Friday and declared that he doesn’t believe his strained left groin will take as long to come back from as the team initially feared.
And if anyone should know, it’s Segura.
“I’ve been dealing with that all my career, so I know when it’s good, I know when it’s bad, I know what time I need to come back. I just know my body,” said Segura, who has a history of groin, quadriceps, and hamstring strains. “I don’t think this is going to be much [time]. I’m feeling really good today. I don’t think it’s going to take a long time. Hopefully I can come back maybe after 10 days.”
Segura was injured while running to first base Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. The Phillies put the second baseman on the 10-day injured list the following day with a Grade 1 strain, and general manager Sam Fuld said the club was projecting that he would miss three weeks.
But Segura is eligible to return as soon as next Saturday in New York for the third game of a pivotal five-game series against the division-leading Mets. It’s too early for him to say he will be back by then, and experience tells him not to rush back from these injuries. Manager Joe Girardi acknowledged that Segura has “notoriously been a quick healer” and is “actually feeling better than what we expected.”
“I worried about it because I felt it,” Segura said. “It’s not smart when you feel something like that to continue to play. I know my body. As soon as I felt it, I knew something was going on with my body. I decided to get out.”
The injury came at an inopportune time for the Phillies because Segura has been their hottest hitter over the last several weeks. In his last 20 games, he’s 28-for-78 (.359) with six doubles, one triple, two home runs, and a .925 OPS. He had a walk-off hit in back-to-back games last week.
For the season, he’s batting .332 with a .379 on-base percentage and .845 OPS. If he had enough at-bats to qualify for the batting title, he would be running third in the National League behind Cincinnati’s Nick Castellanos (.348) and Jesse Winker (.340).
“It’s kind of frustrating and kind of hurts as a team when you get down players who are hitting real good and playing good baseball,” Segura said. “But I can probably come back and not miss much time and help these guys here. I think they really need me. I really want to go out there and have the success that I’ve had so far this season.”
Didi gets a restart
The Phillies recalled shortstop Didi Gregorius from his minor league rehab assignment while he’s treated with medication for pseudogout, a rare condition that explains the persistent swelling in his right elbow.
Gregorius, who didn’t travel with the team to the West Coast, is expected to restart his rehab assignment Wednesday, according to Girardi, likely for triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Coonrod returns to SF
A few years ago, Sam Coonrod had the look of a future closer for the Giants. But after posting a 9.82 ERA in 18 appearances last season, he got traded to the Phillies in January for minor league pitcher Carson Ragsdale.
The deal has paid off so far. Coonrod enters this series against his former team with a 3.29 ERA in 26 appearances.
“The outings I’ve seen he’s been a pretty good strike-thrower, and obviously he continues to have great stuff,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “He’s used in a leverage role for the Phillies, which doesn’t surprise me. He’s been effective for them.”
Indeed, the difference has been Coonrod’s command. His walk rate was 13.2% in 2019 and 9.9% last year for the Giants. This year, it’s down to 6.0%, an improvement that Coonrod credits to mechanical tweaks that stemmed from spring-training catches with fellow reliever Brandon Kintzler.
Coonrod said Kintzler made him realize that he would come out of his delivery when he played catch, often bending back to get better carry on the ball. He would then inadvertently carry it to the mound.
“I didn’t really realize that I was forcing bad habits with what I did in catch,” Coonrod said. “Now I’m just playing catch better, and it just translates better.”
Bryce Harper (back) returned to the lineup, as expected, for the series opener against the Giants. Harper missed one game after tweaking his lower back Tuesday night in Los Angeles. ... Aaron Nola (5-4, 3.69 ERA) will start Saturday against Giants lefty Alex Wood (6-3, 3.71 ERA).