It seemed like Nick Castellanos had finally found a groove, but as of July 26, he was slashing .246/.292/.364 as a 30-year-old on the first year of a $100 million contract.
After making such a splash this offseason, it seemed like Castellanos' contract was already dead-weight, yet suddenly, things clicked. From July 27 through Sept. 2, Castellanos found his power again, knocking five home runs and slashing .320/.346/.496 over 130 plate appearances (PA) prior to his oblique injury.
Since then, Castellanos has rode the injured list, suffering from turf toe even before he strained his oblique. Perhaps it was good timing for him to get some time off, but it certainly was not good timing for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Without their slugger, the club has faltered. Besides his two PAs on Sept. 2, Castellanos hadn't played since Aug. 28, and the Phillies record since then is 8-10.
His bat may have been the glue keeping the lineup together, but they will be happy to know that Castellanos should be returning before the end of the regular season.
According to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com, Rob Thomson estimates the best-case scenario is a rehab appearance for Castellanos this weekend at Triple-A, the last Phillies' minor league affiliate still playing.
If that's the case, Castellanos will join the Phillies' lineup for the last road trip of the season, featuring three games against the Chicago Cubs, four against the Washington Nationals and three against the Houston Astros.
All of those games will be of utmost importance as the Phillies look to end a decade-long postseason drought, up 2.5 games for the third NL Wild Card on the Milwaukee Brewers as of Tuesday, Sept. 20.
More From SI's Inside The Phillies:
- Phillies Star Bryce Harper Doesn't Hold Back on Thoughts About Joe Girardi
- How Mike Trout Will Join the Phillies
- Could Bryce Harper's Favorite MLB Player Join the Philadelphia Phillies Next Season?
- Why You Should Root for the Philadelphia Phillies to Lose a Few Games
- Phillies Release 2023 Regular Season Schedule
- Have the Philadelphia Phillies Found Their Centerfielder of the Future?
- Could The Phillies Soon Be Playing in Wawa Park?
- How did Philadelphia end up with Citizens Bank Park?
- How the Phillie Phanatic Came to be America's Favorite Sports Mascot
- Picking the Phillies' All-Time Single Season Lineup