One encouraging sign -- Hoskins is hitting home runs in batting practice and up to about 75 or 80 swings a day. Phillies manager Rob Thomson said Tuesday that the slugger still is not likely to be get cleared ahead of the World Series, if at all.
The World Series starts Oct. 27.
The NL champion Phillies would clinch a wild-card spot with a win Tuesday against the Pirates.
The 30-year-old Hoskins -- playing on a $12 million, one-year contract -- is the second-longest tenured Phillies player behind Aaron Nola. Hoskins hit 30 homers with 79 RBIs last season. He was injured in late March while fielding a grounder in a spring training game.
"He's starting to get some power back," Thomson said. "Sometimes that takes some time. He probably hit seven or eight balls out of the ballpark today."
Hoskins had a moment forever etched in Philly sports lore when he hit a three-run homer and slammed his bat in celebration in a Game 3 win against Atlanta in the NL Division Series. The moment is captured on a mural on a corridor inside Citizens Bank Park that leads from the clubhouse to the dugout.
Thomson said Hoskins has kept a "tremendous" attitude during the season-long layoff.
"He's in really good spirits," Thomson said. "He feels good about where he's at. He ran the bases today. He's a leader. He's been a great sounding board for these guys. Great knowledge."
Hoskins' return is no sure thing even if the Phillies make their second straight World Series and Hoskins is somehow cleared to play. There would be little chance he would usurp first base from Bryce Harper, which means Hoskins would likely have to serve as the DH and defensive liability Kyle Schwarber would play left field.
Also, Hoskins' absence has allowed right-handed reliever Orion Kerkering a chance to make the playoff roster. Kerkering was not on Philadelphia's 40-man roster before Aug. 31 and is only eligible to pitch in the NL wild-card series as a replacement for an injured player who was on the roster. In this case, that means Hoskins, who is on the 60-day injured list.
Thomson envisions Kerkering -- who went 4-1 with 14 saves and a 1.51 ERA across 49 relief appearances with four different minor league teams this season -- as a high-leverage reliever in the postseason. Thomson struck out two with a devastating slider in a shutout inning in his MLB debut Sunday against the New York Mets.
Thomson said he wanted to give Kerkering two days off and work him an inning Wednesday against Pittsburgh and then pitch at least one more time in the season-ending series against the Mets.
The Phillies don't need to see much more -- they are confident in what they have in their phenom out of the bullpen.
"He wasn't even sweating," Thomson said. "He didn't even look like he was affected by any of it. You never know how anyone will react in this atmosphere in the playoffs but that's with anybody."