Haseley's injury significantly shakes up Phillies' center field battle


Less than a week into spring training games, the Phillies’ center field competition has changed significantly with the news that Adam Haseley is expected to miss four weeks with a left groin strain.

Haseley suffered the injury Thursday on the basepaths, running on a 3-2 pitch, according to manager Joe Girardi. The recovery timeframe will keep him out through spring training and into the first week of the season. Haseley also dealt with a left groin strain in 2019 and missed about five weeks.

"It’s gonna be tough for him to be ready by Opening Day. He’s really disappointed," Girardi said. "He worked really hard this winter and was playing well and was moving extremely well. It’s disheartening for him and frustrating. But I told him look, we love the way you’re playing, make sure that you’re healthy. Let’s not rush this back. Let’s make sure that you’re healthy because if you do it again, it’s going to be worse than the first time and then you’re going to be out even longer.

"He’s got to get over the emotional part of it because he was ready to go. We’ll get him healthy."

Haseley was competing for the starting center field job with Roman Quinn, Scott Kingery and Odubel Herrera. Haseley’s injury certainly increases the chances of making the team for Herrera, who is a better offensive player than Quinn. Herrera had a good game Thursday in right field, homering, singling and connecting with second baseman Nick Maton to nail a runner at the plate. 

Kingery could very well start in center field on Opening Day, but the Phillies will also want to utilize his positional flexibility.

"Scotty’s been a big part of that conversation from Day 1," Girardi said. "We’re looking for someone to step up and take control of this. Roman Quinn swung the bat extremely well today. He had a double and he lined out. All these guys are competing at a high level right now, we just have to let it play out."

In parts of two seasons with the Phillies, Haseley has not been able to secure an everyday role. He has hit .269/.330/.382 in 334 plate appearances with nearly two-thirds of his defensive innings in center field. He missed more than a month with a groin strain in 2019 and two weeks last August with a wrist sprain.

2 other injuries

Catcher Rafael Marchan tweaked his hamstring in Lakeland and will miss the rest of the month. Jhailyn Ortiz also tweaked his hamstring this week and is looking at a similar rehab timetable.

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