MIAMI -- Closing in on a playoff berth and playing in a stadium where he suffered a season-ending injury two years ago, Rhys Hoskins couldn't help but think the worst when he was hit by a pitch on the right hand Wednesday night.
"My first thought was, 'Come on, right now?' " he said the day after. "We've had some bad luck this season with hands and I've had some bad luck here in the past."
All true. At different points this season, the Phillies lost Mickey Moniak, Jean Segura and Bryce Harper to broken bones in the hand. Hoskins exited Wednesday night's game an inning after being hit by an 88-mph changeup from Miami right-hander Edward Cabrera.
If it were a fastball, "We might be having a different conversation," Hoskins acknowledged Thursday. "We dodged a bullet."
X-rays showed no break. Just a bruise. Hoskins was out of the lineup for Thursday night's series finale against the Marlins. He believes he could be back in a day or two, once some of the swelling dissipates.
"I'll play at some point," he said. "Hopefully it's tomorrow (in Atlanta). If not, probably not long after that."
Hoskins knows the feeling of a season-ending injury all too well. His 2020 season ended with a September elbow injury suffered in Miami. His 2021 ended with an August abdominal tear. Both injuries required surgery.
With Hoskins out of Thursday night's lineup, manager Rob Thomson used Alec Bohm at first base and Edmundo Sosa at third base.
Not having Hoskins against Miami starter Pablo Lopez was not ideal. Hoskins is 6 for 11 with three doubles and two homers lifetime against the right-hander.
But at least it's only a bruise.
BIG DAY FOR WHEELER
Zack Wheeler, who has missed four starts while on the injured list with right forearm/elbow inflammation, will attempt to make an important step in his recovery when he throws 45-50 pitches against hitters in a simulated game session Friday afternoon in Atlanta.
If Wheeler gets through it OK, he could be back in the rotation next week at Citizens Bank Park. Wheeler could make as many as three starts before the postseason. If he can get back by Wednesday, he could make three starts before the regular season ends and be in line to start the postseason opener.