Cesar Hernandez went down with what was initially loosely termed an abdominal strain last Friday, but the news became clearer when Hernandez was diagnosed with a strained oblique and placed on the DL. The prognosis is that Hernandez will likely miss six weeks because of the injury, keeping him out of the lineup likely until right around August 1st.
With Hernandez out of the lineup, the Phillies instantly became weaker both offensively and defensively. Howie Kendrick, who took over at second base, made two errors in Monday night's loss. Kendrick played second early in his career, but he has been playing primarily in the outfield this season with the Phillies. Manager Pete Mackanin is willing to be patient with Kendrick defensively and told reporters that he believes it's just a matter of Kendrick reacclimating himself to the position after having not played there.
Right now, the Phillies have an extra reliever on their 25-man roster, but with the injury to Hernandez, they could decide to go back to a seven-man bullpen and add either someone else to play second base or an extra outfielder to take Kendrick's spot in the outfield. Last month, second base prospect Jesmuel Valentin suffered a shoulder injury that could cost him the rest of the season. If not for that injury, Valentin would have been the logical choice to be summoned to take over at second base. Many want to see Scott Kingery come up from Double-A Reading, but Kingery hasn't played above the Double-A level, where he has played just 96 games.
While Kendrick brings defensive liabilities at second base, the Phillies want to keep him in the lineup somewhere because of his offense. Kendrick has played in 23 games with the Phillies this season and is hitting .344 with a .404 on-base percentage. On Monday night, Kendrick became the first Phillies player to steal three bases in one game since Ben Revere in 2013.