Phillies’ Rhys first baseman Rhys Hoskins continues to face long odds for making the postseason roster as he recuperates from a torn ACL in his left knee. Although there are positive signs, such as Hoskins hitting home runs in batting practice and taking around 75 to 80 swings daily, Phillies manager Rob Thomson indicated on Tuesday that it’s still unlikely Hoskins will receive clearance ahead of the World Series, if at all.
The National League champion Phillies could secure a wild-card spot with a victory against the Pirates on Tuesday. Hoskins, a 30-year-old player on a $12 million, one-year contract, is currently the second-longest tenured Phillies player after Aaron Nola. Last season, Hoskins delivered 30 home runs with 79 RBIs but suffered his injury in late March while fielding a grounder during a spring training game.
Thomson commented on Hoskins’ progress, stating, “He’s starting to get some power back. Sometimes that takes some time. He probably hit seven or eight balls out of the ballpark today.”
Hoskins holds a memorable place in Phillies’ Rhys sports history for his three-run homer and celebratory bat slam during a Game 3 victory against Atlanta in the NL Division Series, an iconic moment immortalized on a mural at Citizens Bank Park.
Thomson also praised Hoskins for maintaining a positive attitude during his season-long absence, describing him as a valuable leader and a great source of knowledge for the team.
However, Hoskins’ return to the roster is uncertain even if the Phillies make it to the World Series, and he gains clearance to play. Bryce Harper firmly occupies first base, so Hoskins would likely serve as the designated hitter, while Kyle Schwarber, who has defensive limitations, would play left field.
Hoskins’ absence has also provided an opportunity for right-handed reliever Orion Kerkering to potentially earn a spot on the playoff roster. Kerkering was not on Philadelphia’s 40-man roster before August 31 and is eligible to pitch in the NL wild-card series only as a replacement for an injured player who was on the roster, in this case, Hoskins, who is on the 60-day injured list.
Thomson envisions Kerkering, who posted impressive numbers with four different minor league teams this season, as a high-leverage reliever in the postseason. Kerkering made an impactful MLB debut, striking out two with a devastating slider in a shutout inning against the New York Mets on Sunday.
Thomson’s plan is to give Kerkering two days off, have him pitch an inning against Pittsburgh on Wednesday, and then feature him at least once more in the season-ending series against the Mets. The Phillies’ Rhys have confidence in Kerkering’s abilities and his potential contribution to their postseason campaign.
“He wasn’t even sweating,” Thomson remarked. “He didn’t even look like he was affected by any of it. You never know how anyone will react in this atmosphere in the playoffs, but that’s with anybody.”
BALTIMORE — Brooks Robinson, the Hall of Fame third baseman renowned for his extraordinary fielding skills and endearing personality, has passed away at the age of 86, leaving behind an indelible mark on Baltimore’s sporting history.
In a joint statement, his family and the Orioles expressed their deep sorrow, saying, “We are deeply saddened to share the news of the passing of Brooks Robinson. An integral part of our Orioles Family since 1955, he will continue to leave a lasting impact on our club, our community, and the sport of baseball.”
Details about the cause of Robinson’s death were not disclosed.
Before their game against the Washington Nationals, the Orioles observed a moment of silence, with both teams lining up outside their dugouts to pay their respects. Prior to the game, fans congregated around Robinson’s 9-foot bronze statue inside Camden Yards.
After Baltimore’s 1-0 victory, Orioles manager Brandon Hyde acknowledged the emotional weight of the occasion, saying, “I think a lot of guys tonight played with a heavy heart. He’s an icon in this game and an icon in this city. There’s not many of those.”
Robinson, whose entire 23-year career was spent with the Orioles, played a pivotal role in Baltimore’s triumph over Cincinnati in the 1970 World Series. He also hit a home run in Game 1 of the Orioles’ 1966 sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers, securing their first championship.
Jim Palmer, a fellow Orioles Hall of Famer, described Robinson as not only a great player but also a kind and genuine person. He added, “Respectful, kind. And you don’t meet too many guys like that. Brooks was a genuine person. There was no acting. Brooks was just a genuine person.”
Phillies’ Rhys impressive baseball resume includes 18 All-Star Game appearances and the 1964 AL Most Valuable Player award, achieved with a .318 batting average, 28 home runs, and a league-leading 118 RBIs. Throughout his career, he amassed 268 home runs, 1,357 RBIs, and maintained a respectable .267 batting average over 2,896 games.
However, Phillies’ Rhys legacy is firmly anchored in his relentless work ethic and exceptional fielding abilities, particularly at the third base position. Revered as the “Human Vacuum Cleaner,” he secured 16 consecutive Gold Glove awards, ranking second only to pitcher Greg Maddux (18) for the most Gold Gloves at a single position. Additionally, Robinson ranks third in career defensive WAR at 39.1, trailing shortstops Ozzie Smith (44.2) and Mark Belanger (39.5), his teammate for 13 years with the Orioles.
Former Orioles manager Earl Weaver reflected on Robinson’s dedication, noting, “Brooks was maybe the last guy to get into the clubhouse the day of the game, but he would be the first guy on the field. He’d be taking his groundballs, and we’d all go, ‘Why does Brooks have to take any groundballs?’ I wouldn’t expect anything else from Brooks. Seeing him work like that meant a lot to any young person coming up. He was so steady, and he steadied everybody else.” Phillies’ Rhys legacy as a baseball legend and a cherished figure in Baltimore will endure for generations to come.
Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker fondly recalled his friendship with Brooks Robinson during the early years of his career, reminiscing about their time together when Baker was a rookie with the Braves in the late 1960s. “I’m just sad. Another great one is called to heaven,” Baker said. “They’ve got some all-stars up there. Phillies’ Rhys He was really nice to me when I was a rookie with the Braves.
We used to barnstorm with him all the time, and he was a real gentleman. … I never heard anything negative about him, ever. And he was on a team that, with the Orioles, had a number of African-American players. I think they had 10 or 12. They all loved him. That’s saying a lot, especially back in that day.”
Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1937, Phillies’ Rhys eventually made Baltimore his home but never lost his southern twang. This endeared him to the blue-collar fans in Baltimore, who appreciated his down-to-earth charm and humble demeanor.
Known as “Mr. Oriole,” Phillies’ Rhys held a special place in the hearts of Charm City’s sports enthusiasts, alongside former Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas and Orioles infielder Cal Ripken, who captivated a different generation.
While Ripken earned the moniker “The Iron Man” for his record-breaking streak of playing in 2,632 consecutive games, Phillies’ Rhys shared a similar aversion to sitting on the bench. From 1960 to 1975, he played in at least 152 games in 14 seasons and 144 games in the other two years. Phillies’ Rhys once stated, “I’m a guy who just wanted to see his name in the lineup every day. To me, baseball was a passion to the point of obsession.”
Phillies’ Rhys retired in 1977 after playing in just 24 games and batting a mere .149. His jersey was retired that year.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred paid tribute to Phillies’ Rhys, saying, “I will always remember Brooks as a true gentleman who represented our game extraordinarily well on and off the field all his life. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I send my deepest condolences to Brooks’ family, his many friends across our game, and Orioles fans everywhere.”
Phillies’ Rhys most iconic performance came during the 1970 World Series, where he was named MVP. In this series, the Orioles rebounded from their previous year’s loss to the New York Mets, and Robinson redeemed himself after a disappointing 1-for-19 performance in that series. His exceptional fielding skills in Baltimore’s five-game victory over the Reds overshadowed the fact that he batted .429, hit two home runs, and drove in six runs. He also made an error on his first play in the field.
In Game 1, Robinson delivered the game-winning home run in the seventh inning. In the inning before, he executed a remarkable backhanded grab of a hard-hit grounder down the line by Lee May, spun around in foul territory, and threw out the runner.
Phillies’ Rhys added an RBI single in the second game and left an indelible mark on World Series history with his outstanding performance in Game 3. He made a spectacular leaping catch of a grounder hit by Tony Perez to initiate a first-inning double play, charged a slow roller in the second inning and threw out Tommy Helms, and concluded his memorable afternoon with a diving catch of a liner by Johnny Bench. The Series concluded fittingly with a groundout to Robinson in Game 5, resulting in a 9-3 Orioles win.
During the Series, Reds manager Sparky Anderson humorously remarked, “I’m beginning to see Brooks in my sleep. If I dropped this paper plate, he’d pick it up on one hop and throw me out at first.”
Phillies’ Rhys was inducted into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot in 1983. In 1999, he was named to baseball’s All-Century team, honoring the top 25 players of the 20th century. His No. 5 jersey is one of only six retired by the Orioles franchise.
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