The Philadelphia Phillies placed outfielder Cristian Pache on the injured list on Saturday because of a torn meniscus in his right knee. In a corresponding move, they recalled outfielder Dalton Guthrie from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Pache had surgery Monday and the timetable for his recovery is 4-6 weeks, the team announced.
Pache, 24, suffered the injury as part of Friday night's game against the Houston Astros. Although expectations were low when the Phillies acquired him from the Oakland Athletics in the spring, he had blossomed into one of the most pleasant surprises on the roster. In 18 games, he'd hit .360/.360/.600 (161 OPS+) with a home run, three doubles, and four runs batted in.
Pache's improved hitting had to do in part with an altered launch angle. Whereas he'd previously recorded marks in the single digits, he'd post a 13.3 degree average launch angle thus far this year. Additionally, more than 35% of his batted balls had been hit between 10 and 30 degrees; last season, for comparison, he managed to hit just 24% of his balls in that range.
Pache is the latest notable Phillies player to be placed on the shelf. The Phillies are also without Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins, and Ranger Suárez, though Harper has been cleared to return Tuesday. He's made a stunning recovery from Tommy John surgery in fewer than six months.
Guthrie, 27, made his big-league debut last season, hitting .333/.500/.476 in 14 games. He's batted .278/.380/.481 in 21 Triple-A games this year. Guthrie figures to serve in a timeshare in left alongside some combination of Jake Cave and Josh Harrison.
The Phillies entered Saturday with a 14-13 record, putting them four games back in the National League East of the Atlanta Braves.