Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins homers twice in return from injury; Alec Bohm demoted

The Philadelphia Phillies made a pair of roster moves on Sunday ahead of their series finale against the San Diego Padres: they activated first baseman Rhys Hoskins from the injured list and demoted third baseman Alec Bohm to Triple-A.

The return of Hoskins paid immediate dividends. He would homer twice, helping push the Phillies to a 7-1 lead heading to the ninth inning. Here is his second homer. 

The Padres would rally for three in the ninth, but thanks in part to Hoskins, there was enough insurance to hold on. 

With the Braves winning, the Phillies remain five games back in the NL East. The wild card is now in play, too, as the Reds passed the Padres on Sunday with their win. The Padres are now one game back while the Phillies sit five back, with the Cardinals also in the mix at 4 1/2 behind the Reds. 

Hoskins, 28, had not appeared in a game since Aug. 5 because of a strained groin. Prior to suffering that injury, he’d hit .244/.332/.509 (127 OPS+) with 24 home runs in his first 104 contests. Hoskins’ return was a welcome development for a Phillies lineup that had scored more than five runs in a game just twice in the past two weeks (and not once since Aug. 14).

Bohm’s demotion, at the time, was arguably more notable than Hoskins’ activation. 

Bohm, 25, finished second in Rookie of the Year Award voting last season after posting a 139 OPS+ in 44 games. Unfortunately, he hasn’t found similar success in his sophomore campaign. In 111 contests to date, he’s hit .245/.302/.342 (78 OPS+) with just seven home runs.

Phillies manager Joe Girardi had used Bohm as a platoon first baseman in recent weeks, giving him just three starts in the past 10 games — all against left-handed pitchers. Veteran utility infielder Ronald Torreyes, meanwhile, had received 10 of the last 11 starts at the hot corner (with the exception going to rookie Luke Williams).

It’s unclear if or how Bohm fits in the Phillies’ future plans. His defense is a better fit at first base, yet Hoskins’ presence mucks up that idea. Realistically, his defensive shortcomings don’t matter if he’s failing to hit — at that point, he isn’t providing enough value to merit rostering. All the Phillies can hope for now is that Bohm rediscovers his offensive groove away from the spotlight.

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