BOSTON - The results of second baseman Cesar Hernandez's MRI are in and they're not good.
Hernandez's left abdominal strain will require six weeks on the disabled list, Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said Tuesday. That means Hernandez will be out until late July.
Mackanin said the Phillies would continue to use Howie Kendrick at second base "for right now." He added that he would confer with general manager Matt Klentak about the situation - and other roster matters - when the team returned home after a nine-game road trip on Wednesday.
"I haven't discussed it with Matt," Mackanin said. "They've been preoccupied with the draft. I'm sure when we get home we'll discuss it."
Kendrick, 33, was primarily a second baseman early in his career with the Los Angeles Angels. He opened this season as the Phillies' leftfielder and moved to second on Sunday, when Hernandez went on the disabled list.
Kendrick made two errors at second in Monday night's 6-5 loss to the Boston Red Sox (see story), but Mackanin thinks he will be fine at the position "once the rust wears off."
Hernandez's absence has already led to an outcry for the Phillies to promote prospect Scott Kingery from Double A. Kingery has put up big numbers at Double A Reading - .306/18/35/1.007 - but the Phillies front office has made it clear it will not rush players to the majors at the expense of their development. Kingery, 23, does not have to be protected on the 40-man roster until after the 2018 season and it's likely the Phillies would rather not put him on the 40-man roster until they know he can stay in the majors for good.
Nonetheless, Mackanin expects to talk about Kingery in his chat with Klentak.
"I'm sure it will come up," he said. "I'm anxious to talk to Matt about the whole scenario. He'll give me his thoughts. I'll give him mine and we'll go from there."
The Phillies are carrying eight relievers and going a man short on the bench at the moment. That could change in the coming days. With Kendrick now playing second, the team could look to add an outfielder from the minor leagues. It's doubtful that the brass is ready to turn Nick Williams loose in the majors. When he comes, he has to play regularly. That could happen later this season, but does not appear to be the plan right now. Cameron Perkins or Andrew Pullin might fit as reserve players, but neither are on the 40-man roster.
"We're in the process of trying to figure it all out," Mackanin said. "I need to sit down with Matt and discuss all of those things."