A couple of upbeat updates on injured Phillies

A couple of upbeat updates on injured Phillies originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Phillies have been fortunate this season that while front-line players like Trea Turner and Taijuan Walker have been on the injured list, replacements like Edmundo Sosa and Spencer Turnbull have stepped in and performed well.

They’ve also been lucky that injuries which first appeared to be potentially serious turned out to be relatively minor. Which meant Rob Thomson was able to deliver upbeat updates on lefthander Ranger Suarez and leftfielder Brandon Marsh before Tuesday night’s game.

Suarez, who was struck on the thumb of his pitching hand by a 106 mph line drive in his last start against the Cardinals Saturday night, played catch in the outfield and will throw a bullpen Wednesday.

“Then we’ll find out,” the manager said. “It looks good so far. Thankfully. Because that could have been really bad.”

Thomson didn’t rule out the possibility that Suarez, who is 9-1 with a 1.70 earned run average, could be cleared to make his next start before the team flies to London Wednesday night. “It just depends how the bullpen goes. If it’s really sharp, really clean, looks normal, we may make the call right away,” he said.

Marsh, who began signaling that he was hurt as soon as he arrived at second after doubling against the Cardinals on Sunday night, turns out to have only a minor strain of his hamstring. Asked if he could grade it on the standard 1-4 scale, Thomson smiled.

“A half, if there’s such a thing,” he said. That creates in the possibility that Marsh, who is on the 10-day injured list, could be activated as soon as June 13 when the Phillies play the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Meanwhile, while there is no official timetable for Turner’s return, Thomson is optimistic. “I think we’re pretty close (to the original six-week estimate). He’s coming along fine,” the manager said.

That would mean Turner, hitting .343 when he strained his hamstring on May 3, could also rejoin the lineup sometime in the middle of June.

TIME WILL TELL

Asked if he was reevaluating the status of No. 5 starter Taijuan Walker, Rob Thomson demurred. “We’re not there yet,” he said.

Why not? “Because I trust him.”

In seven starts this season, Walker has a 5.73 earned run average. His last two outings have been particularly concerning. Opponents have batted .304 against him with an .887 OPS and his ERA is 7.36. But he’s also in the second season of a four-year, $72 million contract.

Thomson said any decision will ultimately be performance-based. “No doubt,” he said. “But I trust him. He’s got to command better. And hopefully, along the way, he gains some velo. We saw it tick up a couple starts ago and now it’s come back down. I’m sure he’ll get there. But he’s got to command the baseball, he’s got to keep it down and he’s got to get his split down.”

Walker’s next start is scheduled for Sunday against the Mets in London.

UP NEXT

RHP Aaron Nola (7-2, 3.03) will start the 4:05 p.m. series finale against the Brewers on Thursday. Milwaukee, which used an opener in the first two games, has not announced its starter.