The Philadelphia Phillies hope to have shortstop Didi Gregorius back in the lineup after a month away with a knee sprain as soon as Saturday night when they host the Los Angeles Angels.
His return can’t come soon enough.
The Phillies’ middle infield has been hit with injuries, most notably of late the broken right index finger suffered by second baseman Jean Segura. Segura was hit by a pitch on the finger Tuesday against the San Francisco Giants when he squared to bunt.
He will need surgery and will be out until September.
“He’s a rock,” Phillies general manager Sam Fuld said of Segura. “He’s as steady as they come. I think, sometimes, we take for granted what he does on a nightly basis on both sides of the ball. He’s a guy you can rely upon. Not necessarily going to wow you with flashes, but he’s just steady and does a lot of great things. We’ll miss him.”
To make matters worse for the Phillies, second baseman Nick Maton, just called up earlier in the week, had to leave Friday’s game after making a diving catch on a blooper hit by Mike Trout. Maton appeared to injure his right shoulder and was initially diagnosed with a shoulder sprain.
Johan Camargo replaced Maton at second, and Bryson Stott, who hit a three-run homer Friday, started at shortstop.
The Phillies won 10-0 in the opener of the three-game series to send the Angels to their ninth straight loss. It was the first game for Phillies interim manager Rob Thomson after the firing of manager Joe Girardi earlier Friday.
The Angels also lost a player to injury mid-game on Friday when right fielder Taylor Ward was removed because of a tight hamstring. Ward was the Angels’ most productive hitter before a run-in with the right-field wall on May 20 forced him to miss four games because of a neck stinger.
On Friday, he slipped while leaving the batter’s box after hitting the ball in the third inning. His status for Saturday is questionable.
Angels center fielder Mike Trout is healthy, but he’s struggling at the plate. He went 0 for 4 Friday in his first game in Philadelphia since 2014, the only year Trout went to the playoffs. He is from Millville, N.J., a Philly suburb.
Trout, who is hitless in his past five games, played in three playoff games that season — all three losses to the Kansas City Royals. Trout’s only hit in that series was a home run.
“Everybody is clamoring for Michael to make the playoffs this year,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “It just needs to happen. It needs to be seen. When you get a generational talent, it’s wonderful for the country at large to be able to see them more consistently. It’s up to us.”
Right-hander Michael Lorenzen (5-2, 3.19 ERA) will start for the Angels, making his ninth start of the season. He’s coming off a no-decision in his most recent start last Saturday against Toronto, when he gave up three runs and five hits in 6 2/3 innings.
This will be Lorenzen’s first career start against the Philadelphia. He is 1-2 with a 3.38 ERA in eight relief appearances.
The Phillies will counter with right-hander Zack Wheeler (3-3, 3.16). Wheeler also had a no-decision his last time out in a 5-4 loss to the Mets on Sunday. He gave up three runs (one earned) on four hits and three walks in six innings.
In his career against the Angels, Wheeler is 1-0 in his only appearance.
–Field Level Media