Rhys Hoskins' 2021 season is over.
The Philadelphia Phillies first baseman will miss the remainder of the campaign, telling reporters Thursday he'll undergo abdominal surgery next week. It's a brutal blow for the Phillies, who led the National League East as recently as Aug. 14.
Entering Thursday, they trailed the Atlanta Braves by five games and were five games back for the second wild-card spot after a 2-7 skid.
Hoskins ends the year with a slash line of .247/.334/.530 with 27 home runs and 71 RBI.
The 28-year-old was activated from the 10-day injured list Sunday, hit three home runs in his first three games back and then reaggravated the groin strain that caused him to miss time in the first place.
As Matt Snyder of CBS Sports noted, the Phillies are six games over .500 with Hoskins in the lineup and six games under .500 when he doesn't start.
Brad Miller is likely to fill in at first base, though it's unclear if he'll hold down the middle-of-the-order spot Hoskins handled. Through 105 games, Miller is slashing .218/.310/.414 with 12 home runs and 34 RBI. He has hit all over the lineup—once at No. 2 and multiple times in each of the Nos. 5, 6 and 7 holes—since Hoskins was injured Aug. 5 and landed on the IL five days later.
Miller will have to improve quickly if Philadelphia is going to continue challenging for a playoff berth.
The club has opportunities on the horizon. The Phillies host a four-game series with the last-place Arizona Diamondbacks starting Thursday before playing six games at the Washington Nationals and Miami Marlins—the fourth- and fifth-place teams in the NL East.
The entire month of September breaks Philadelphia's way, in fact, with just two over-.500 opponents on tap—three games at the Milwaukee Brewers and three at the Braves that could decide the division.
Between those two pivotal sets, the Phillies play the Colorado Rockies, Chicago Cubs, New York Mets, Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates. They will finish the regular season with three games at the Marlins.
A path to the postseason still exists for Philadelphia. It just got significantly tougher with Hoskins out for the year.