Phillies slugger Jay Bruce finished Tuesday night's competition with a strained right-handed muscle, Phillies announced. There is no word on a trip to the damaged list, but Phillies will likely have additional information after the match.
The majority of skewed tribes send players to the damaged list, and it is not uncommon for position players to miss a month with even grade 1 tribe. Losing Bruce would be a blow to the Phillies lineup; while only collecting an uneven .277 OBP since his acquisition, Bruce went into play on Tuesday and beat .266 and slugging a whopping 574 with Phils. He has already drilled 10 long balls and six doubles with Philadelphia, and he had spotted 29 runs in his first 32 games with the team.
Bruce's acquisition helped to offset the loss of Andrew McCutchen who suffered a broken ACL earlier this season and will not return by 2020. An absence for Bruce could open the door for the return of Nick Williams ̵
Since being sent to Triple-A for regular bats, Williams has wasted International League pitching. On 120 trips to the plate, he has played a superlative .358 / .417 / .651 with six homers, 10 doubles and two triples. He would be the obvious candidate to replace Bruce in the short term, but one can only wonder if Phils would again look to the trading market for another outfield option. While the Phillies have quickly faded into the NL East competition, they are still heavily involved in the NL Wild Card mix. And after such an aggressive offseason, it would be a disappointing concession for the team's decision-makers to act as something other than a deadline buyer.