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Philadelphia Phillies Activate Star Veteran From Injured List

Philadelphia Phillies activate Trea Turner

The Philadelphia Phillies activated shortstop Trea Turner from the injured list on Monday, per a team announcement. In a corresponding move, the Phillies optioned centerfielder Johan Rojas to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Turner will end up missing just over six weeks with a strained hamstring suffered on May 3. The Phillies placed Turner on the injured list the next day and initially expected him to miss at least six weeks. While that initial projection seems spot on, there could be a caveat at play.

The 30-year-old will return to the Phillies without taking part in a minor league rehab assignment. He’s likely fully healthy, as it makes no sense to the player nor the team to rush him back and risk a serious re-aggravation of the injury. However, it’s fair to wonder whether the lack of rehab assignment will lead to rust and initial struggles for Turner over the next week or so.

Philadelphia Phillies Activate Trea Turner, Option Johan Rojas

Before the injury, Turner represented an important piece to a team with the best record in the game. In 148 plate appearances, the shortstop hit .343/.392/.460 (144 OPS+) with two homers and 10 steals and double a piece.

Philadelphia did more than tread water during his absence, thanks to solid production from backup infielder Edmundo Sosa. Since replacing Turner during the May 3 game against the Giants, Sosa hit .282/.342/.509 with four homers and triples each, five doubles, and 17 RBI.

Plus, he provided better defense at the important shortstop position, per defensive metrics, than Turner. But, with the Phillies activating Turner from the injured list, Sosa will likely revert back to a utility infielder role.

Though the team has maintained and built upon a division lead without Turner, the Phillies recently lost J.T. Realmuto for at least a month due to knee surgery. It’s possible the Phillies activated Turner from the injured list without a rehab assignment because they did not want to be without two star players for much longer.

Phillies Option Rojas

On Sunday, the Phillies knew Turner would return on Monday. However, the team did not have an obvious answer as to which payer would lose his roster spot as a result. That said, the organization clearly made its choice by demoting the defensively gifted Rojas.

The 23-year-old made his debut last season and quickly established himself as one of the best fielders in baseball. He even held his own offensively, evident by a 109 OPS+ in 59 games. Unfortunately, 2024 has been a bit of a different story for Rojas.

First, his defense has significantly declined according to both Defensive Runs Saved and Outs Above Average. In 89 1/3 more innings this year, Rojas has gone from 15 DRS to 1 and 6 OAA to 2. Additionally, Rojas is hitting just .235/.271/.295 (63 OPS+).

The Phillies activated outfielder Brandon Marsh from the injured list over the weekend. This move likely made Rojas a bit more expendable for the current active roster. Philadelphia shifted Marsh to left field when Rojas emerged last year. But with him back in the minors, Marsh is more than capable of providing solid center field defense and contributing with the bat.

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