CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Aaron Altherr needs surgery on his injured left wrist and will be sidelined for four to six months.
Phillies general manager Matt Klentak announced late Tuesday afternoon that Altherr would have surgery on Wednesday.
Altherr was a front-runner to be the starting right fielder on opening day.
''We're hopeful he'll be back before the end of the season,'' Klentak said.
The 25-year-old Altherr hurt himself diving for a ball last Friday. He went back to Philadelphia on Sunday and received two different opinions, with both doctors recommending surgery. Dr. Randal Culp will perform the operation in Philadelphia.
''It's disappointing certainly for a young player who had a lot to prove,'' Klentak said. ''We were certainly excited to watch him play. But we're not going to sit here and feel sorry for ourselves. We have a lot of good players in camp that are competing really hard for an opportunity.''
Altherr hit .241 with five home runs and 11 doubles in 39 games with the Phillies at the end of last season.
With Altherr out, Klentak said the Phillies will turn to several of the players competing for jobs in camp in order to fill the vacancy. Among them are Cody Asche, who shifted from third base to the outfield last May, Darnell Sweeney, Rule 5 pick Tyler Goeddel and non-rosters players Cedric Hunter and David Lough.
''We owe it to the guys in camp to give them that chance to fill that spot,'' Klentak said. ''We'll survey the market. If there's something out there, we'll explore it. But we feel pretty good about the guys we have here.''