Phyllis scratching Josh Harrison; Injury updates on Ranger Suarez, Andrew Painter

NEW YORK — Bryson Stott wasn’t initially in the Phillies’ lineup Monday night for their series opener at Yankee Stadium, but he ended up being the starter anyway.

Utility man Josh Harrison, who was slated to start at second base, was scratched an hour before game time with a mild sprain of his right ankle. It is day by day.

Stott was one of four left-handed hitters in the Phillies’ hitting order against Yankees left-hander Nestor Curtis, an unusual structure for manager Rob Thompson. On Sunday night against Southpaw Martin Perez, Kyle Schwarber and Stott were the only base hitters.

The Phillies are trying to find the right combination against the left and this is where he feels the loss of Rhys Hoskins the most. With a healthy Hoskins at first base, the Phillies would have started Edmundo Sosa at third base and used Alec Baum as their primary DH. They could even try out Sosa at center field instead of Marsh. Sosa played center throughout spring training and had some growing pains but he was far from disaster.

The Phils now have no choice but to use some left-handed batters against left-handed starters. Marsh has a career 0.530 OPS against lefties. Hall was only 1-for-14 against them in his big league career going into Monday night. Stott held his own, hitting .282 with a .784 OPS against left compared to .227 with a 0.625 OPS against right.

For Marsh, the ability to hit left-handed pitching is the only barrier between being a solid baserunner every day in the major league and not being that. He said in spring training that success with the same hand is his number one goal this season.

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The Phillies are scheduled to face another left-hander Thursday in their home opener, Cincinnati’s Nick Ludulu. They will see another in the next series, Jesus Luzzardo in Miami.

Rotation updates

There was positive news for Ranger Suarez, who felt great after a bullpen session this weekend. The Phillies are encouraged, Thompson said Monday afternoon.

Suarez (elbowed) will throw another wrestling session on Wednesday. If he walks away feeling okay, the Phillies will determine his next move, which could be a minor league rehab job. Suarez has not appeared in an actual game since March 8, when Venezuela faced the Houston Astros in a warm-up game prior to the World Baseball Classic.

Matt Strahm will start in fifth place on Tuesday night but the Phillies aren’t sticking to him in the rotation after that start while they wait for news on Suarez. The Phillies have a 65-pitch limit on Strahm, and he’s relieved not started since 2019, with the exception of “opening” appearances in 2021.

Andrew Painter is also dealing with an elbow injury, an injury he’s been trying to rehabilitate with rest rather than surgery. The painter wouldn’t catch a ball until at least the first few days of April, Feliz said in the first week of March. This has not happened yet. He was confined to plyometric work.

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