Health issues nag at Phils before series finale with Jays

MLB

The visiting Philadelphia Phillies will be facing lineup questions Sunday afternoon when they play the Toronto Blue Jays in the rubber match of a three-game series at Dunedin, Fla.

Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper left the 4-0 loss to the Blue Jays during the fourth inning Saturday night with a sore right shoulder. Harper, who struck out twice in the game, was listed as day to day.

Catcher J.T. Realmuto aggravated a left hand injury and left for a pinch hitter in the eighth inning. He is also listed as day to day.

“I’m not sure about (Sunday) for either one of them,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said.

The Phillies have been without shortstop Didi Gregorius (elbow) for the last three games, and he is not expected to play Sunday.

Right-hander Chase Anderson (2-3, 5.23 ERA) will start Sunday for the Phillies against Blue Jays left-hander Robbie Ray (1-1, 3.38).

Anderson was 1-2, with a 7.22 ERA for the Blue Jays last season. In his only career start against the Blue Jays, while pitching for the Milwaukee Brewers, Anderson picked up the win, allowing three hits and two walks in seven shutout innings. He struck out seven.

Ray faced the Phillies once in 2020, allowing five hits and five earned runs over 4 1/3 innings in taking the loss. He walked four and struck out six. in six career starts against Philadelphia, Ray is 2-2 with a 5.51 ERA.

Gregorius has been dealing with elbow inflammation since landing on his right arm while chasing a pop-up in shallow center field April 16 against the St. Louis Cardinals at Philadelphia. He returned to play 17 of the next 24 games, also missing time after being hit by a pitch April 28 in St. Louis.

Gregorius said his elbow “flared up out of nowhere” on Wednesday night in Washington, where the Phillies were playing the Nationals. He said it does not prevent him from throwing, but he has had difficulty following through with a swing. He is to have more testing on Monday.

“I am worried because I haven’t been on the field,” Gregorius said. “And the last time I played, my swings weren’t looking really good because I couldn’t extend my arm.”

Phillies left fielder Andrew McCutchen also seemed to be in discomfort as he ducked from a pitch in the sixth inning Saturday, but he finished the game.

The Phillies hurt themselves Saturday with three errors — including a dropped pop fly that allowed the fourth run to score — and other misplays.

“Just catch the ball,” Girardi said. “That’s all we need to do. I don’t know what that is. They work every day; they do their stuff. It has to be they’re just not following the ball into their glove. Miscommunication? It shouldn’t happen at this level.”

Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a solo home run for the second game in a row on Saturday. Both were to right field.

“I think it means he’s seeing the ball better,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “He’s letting the ball travel more, and that’s why he’s having good at-bats and that’s why he’s going to the opposite field more. He’s doing a good job of that. He’s been doing that the whole season so far.”

Guerrero has 10 homers this season.

The Blue Jays selected the contract of left-hander Nick Allgeyer Saturday and moved right-hander David Phelps (right lat strain) to the 60-day injured list to make room on the 40-man roster.

–Field Level Media

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