Phillies' Kyle Schwarber day to day with calf injury

·3 min read

Phillies head to New York down a crucial bat originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Phillies will be without their most dangerous bat when they open a hotly anticipated series against the New York Mets at Citi Field on Friday night.

National League home run leader Kyle Schwarber left Thursday's game at Citizens Bank Park with a strained right calf muscle.

Manager Rob Thomson termed the injury "mild" and said Schwarber was day-to-day.

But Schwarber essentially ruled himself out for Friday night's series opener against Max Scherzer.

"I probably won't play (Friday night)," Schwarber said. "I'll do as much work as I can (with the team's athletic training staff) and try to get back as soon as I can."

Schwarber leads the NL with 34 homers and has spearheaded the Phillies' rise to contention since June 1. Matt Vierling will likely play left field in place of Schwarber on Friday night. Schwarber would not speculate as to whether he could pinch-hit or serve as the designated hitter as the series continues Saturday night and Sunday.

"I want to be back as quickly as I can but I also don't want to do anything outrageous to hurt the team and be down for an extended amount of time," he said.

"Obviously, we had a great homestand and we have a big series coming up, but we have to be smart about it, too."

The Phillies ended a 6-1 homestand with a 3-0 loss to Miami on Thursday.

Schwarber said he'd been dealing with some discomfort in his right calf for a couple of weeks. He left the game after drawing a walk in the bottom of the fifth inning. He had a noticeable limp in left field in the top of the inning.

"It's something I've been managing through," he said. "It wasn't anything serious. Today it just got a little bit tighter and tighter and tighter, and I just felt if there was a ball hit into the outfield, I wouldn't be serviceable."

Schwarber attributed the injury to the "good old grind of baseball. It didn't happen on any one play. It didn't pop. We'll treat it and I'll get back as soon as I can," he said.

Schwarber has been a mainstay atop the Phillies' lineup. He has played in 109 of the team's 111 games.

Losing your top power bat -- regardless of how long -- is never a good way to go into an important series. The Phillies have some experience in surviving injuries to key players. Jean Segura missed two months with a broken index finger and Bryce Harper has been out since suffering a broken left thumb on June 25.

The Phillies have not only survived those injuries, they've surged in the standings.

The Phils have not seen the Mets since being swept in a three-game series in New York in late May. The sweep dropped the Phils to 21-27 and hastened the firing of manager Joe Girardi. Since the sweep, the Phils are 41-22 and in wild-card playoff position with 51 games to play.

The Mets have been in first place in the NL East every day but one this season. They are 73-39 and have won six in a row and 15 of their last 17.

The series in New York was going to be a tough test for the Phillies regardless. It's tougher now with Schwarber down.

Subscribe to Phillies Talk: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | Watch on YouTube