The odds are against Rhys Hoskins, and he knows it.
This doesn’t mean, however, that he’s giving up on a return this season after sustaining an injury to his left elbow during the Phillies’ nightmarish stay in Miami over the weekend.
Hoskins told reporters that offseason surgery remains an option, but a potential procedure and a 2020 return are not what he termed as “mutually exclusive” outcomes.
For now, Hoskins remains sidelined on the 10-day IL, but he will continue to work with Phillies trainers as he attempts what would seem to be an unprecedented comeback.
“I think Joe said today that we’re still trying to gather some information. I think he’s also mentioned that the strength in my forearm and grip strength is a pretty big indicator of whether or not I’ll be able to come back at the end of the season,” Hoskins said. “So it’s still kind of the same, I don’t really have much of an update. My grip strength today was better than it was a couple of days ago, so that’s a good sign. But as of right now, the plan is to try to calm it down and try to regain some of that strength over the next 8, 9 or 10 days – however many days we have until I’m eligible to come off.”
A return will be difficult. The regular season concludes in just 11 days. When asked if there has been a player in a comparable situation that he can look to for inspiration, Hoskins, who noted he has talked to several players who have experienced similar injuries, couldn’t identify one.
The closest example commonly referenced in recent days is the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani. After sustaining a UCL injury to his non-throwing elbow, Ohtani returned to action in less than four weeks.
However, Hoskins doesn’t have the luxury of even that optimistic timeline.
The first baseman admitted surgery is “not off the table” and believes he could be back in time for spring training should rest and rehab fail to close what he described as a “gap” in his UCL.
Hoskins, who has 10 homers and leads Phillies regulars with an .887 OPS this season, is eligible to come off the injured list on Sept. 23.