Jesmuel Valentin, a second-base prospect at triple A, could miss the remainder of the season because of a separated shoulder that will require surgery.
Valentin, who suffered the injury in winter ball and reinjured the shoulder two weeks ago, will have surgery sometime this week, Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said Monday. Valentin hurt the shoulder while diving for a ball.
The Phillies were impressed with how Valentin, 23, handled his first big-league spring training. He did not hit well at triple-A Lehigh Valley to start the season, with a .573 OPS in 104 plate appearances. But he had gained standing in the organization.
Valentin, son of former big-leaguer Jose Valentin, is on the 40-man roster.
The injury will, eventually, create a chance at triple A for Scott Kingery. The 23-year-old second baseman has produced at double-A Reading with a robust 1.018 OPS in 173 plate appearances. He has smashed 13 homers in his second full professional season. Kingery had eight career homers in 868 plate appearances before 2017.
Kingery will move to triple A at some point this season, but Klentak said that bump is "not imminent." The Phillies, for now, will fill Valentin's spot at triple A with a hodgepodge of veterans: Pedro Florimon, Hector Gomez and Taylor Featherston.
"The top of the Reading lineup has been awesome," Klentak said. "Kingery stands out because he's doing what he's always done — grinding at-bats, working counts, using the whole field. And now he's starting to drive balls out of the park at home and on the road, which is exciting."
Confidence in McClure
The Phillies entered Monday with a 4.78 ERA that ranked 28th in baseball, but Klentak endorsed the job done by pitching coach Bob McClure — specifically his work with the inexperienced arms on the staff.
"One of the things that is so good about Bob, he is outstanding at working with young players and understanding the long game with young players," Klentak said. "How we make sure they get enough rest and how we take care of them. He's been through this before."
The blame for ineffective pitching, Klentak said, is shared across the organization.
"The topic of Bob's job security has not come up because it's not an issue," Klentak said. "I talk to Bob plenty, and that does not come up."