Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto is dealing with a right knee issue that will require an MRI, Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports. Realmuto felt a “popping” in the back of his knee during the Phillies’ blowout loss to the Indians on Sunday, though the belief is that he’s not battling a significant injury, Zolecki writes.
The Phillies are just about done in the National League, where they’re six games back of a wild-card spot as the final week of the season begins. Considering the franchise oversaw an ultra-aggressive winter but is now days away from increasing its playoff drought to eight years, it’s fair to say this season has been a letdown for Philly. However, last offseason’s trade for Realmuto – previously a star with the division-rival Marlins – has been anything but a disappointment. Realmuto has been the game’s premier catcher for the second straight year, having parlayed quality offense, terrific base running and defensive virtuosity into 5.6 fWAR/4.3 bWAR through 593 plate appearances.
The Phillies have seemingly little to play for at this point, which figures to increase their cautiousness in regards to Realmuto’s health. He’s slated to enter his final season of arbitration control in 2020, but the Phillies have made it clear that they want to extend the franchise backstop before a potential trip to free agency in another year-plus. Realmuto’s future is one of the key issues general manager Matt Klentak & Co. will address in the offseason.