Phillies' Rhys Hoskins carted off the field with knee injury

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Hoskins carted off the field with knee injury originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Rhys Hoskins was carted off the field Thursday in Clearwater after injuring his left knee going back on a ground ball at first base in the second inning. Hoskins appeared to injure the knee as he reached the outfield grass and left his feet in pain, clutching the knee.

The game was stopped for about 10 minutes as Hoskins was tended to by Phillies trainers and ballpark EMTs. He was circled by worried teammates.

Hoskins underwent testing after leaving the game and there was no immediate word on the severity of the injury.

"Our hearts are so heavy for him because we all know how much he means to this team, the clubhouse, the camaraderie," Nick Castellanos said. "I always say that he's kind of like our spokesperson. He's the guy who steps up and talks to the team whenever something needs to be addressed. He's really good at all that stuff and he's really important to what we have."

Hoskins had surgery over the offseason to repair the meniscus in his right knee. The Phillies took it easy with him the first couple weeks of spring training but he's gotten more work lately, starting six of the last 10 games. He was having a strong spring, hitting .375 with four homers and 10 RBI.

This is a crucial year for Hoskins from personal and team standpoints. He is a free agent after the season and his payday will be determined in part by his 2023. The Phillies need his powerful right-handed bat in the top half of their lineup, especially as they await Bryce Harper's return from Tommy John surgery.

Hoskins played 156 games last season, hitting .246/.332/.462 with 33 doubles, 30 homers and 79 RBI. He homered six more times in the playoffs.

"That guy's basically like the mayor of Philadelphia," Bailey Falter said. "In my eyes, he's like Mr. Phillie. I wish him the best recovery. I don't know what the injury is or anything like that, but knowing Rhys, he's gonna try to get back out there in no time."

Injuries are mounting for the Phillies. Ranger Suarez is dealing with a left elbow/forearm injury and Andrew Painter has a sprained right elbow. Backup catcher Garrett Stubbs has a knee injury and third-string catcher Rafael Marchan has a hand injury. Potential long men Nick Nelson (hamstring) and Cristopher Sanchez (triceps) are also hurt.

Without Hoskins, the Phillies have a few internal options. They could play Darick Hall, who was in line for DH duty against right-handed pitching, at first base. They could shift Alec Bohm across the diamond to first and play the sure-handed Edmundo Sosa at third base. It also increases the likelihood for someone like Kody Clemens to make the opening-day roster.

"He's one of our leaders," Trea Turner said of Hoskins. "He speaks up a lot, he's our team rep when it comes to CBA stuff. He just has that role and that vibe with him. Hopefully, the tests come back clean and it's nothing too bad. We're gonna miss him, even if it's for a short period of time."