The Phillies could be without Jay Bruce for an extended stretch as the outfielder left Tuesday night’s game with a strained muscle near his ribcage.
Bruce grabbed his side after a check swing in the third inning against the Dodgers. Manager Gabe Kapler and a trainer immediately checked on him and then lifted him. Bruce will have an MRI on Wednesday.
“It’s something in my rib cage, the front of my rib cage, which is different than an oblique,” Bruce said. “I know it’s all kind of intertwined in there. But I’ve never had anything this far up front in my ribs. It’s like on my ribs. But we’ll see.”
The Phillies traded for Bruce last month to build their outfield depth after Odubel Herrera was placed on administrative leave before being suspended. Herrera was suspended for the rest of the season under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy. Herrera had been struggling at the plate and was benched before his arrest on domestic assault charges. The charges against Herrera in Atlantic City, New Jersey, were dismissed earlier this month.
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Bruce was quickly pushed into an everyday role in when Andrew McCutchen suffered a season-ending injury. Bruce entered Tuesday with 10 homers and a .851 OPS in his first 32 games with the Phillies.
“It really grabbed on me. I planned on continuing the at-bat, but I just wasn’t able to,” Bruc said. “It’s frustrating, man. Really frustrating. But there’s nothing I can do. Hopefully I can use whatever time it takes to get better and heal and be ready to go as soon as possible.”
The Phillies could replace Bruce in left field with Adam Haseley or Roman Quinn, who are both on the bench as extra outfielders. It also could create another chance for Nick Williams, who entered Tuesday batting .355 with a 1.084 OPS in 103 triple-A plate appearances since being demoted by the Phillies.