TODAY: Realmuto is day-to-day for now, and will undergo an MRI, Girardi told Montemurro and other reporters.
SEPTEMBER 12: If an early exit from Spencer Howard wasn’t worrisome enough for the Phillies, they’re now sweating a potentially even more costly injury. Catcher J.T. Realmuto felt “hip discomfort” while running the bases in the eighth inning of Saturday’s 12-6 win over the Marlins, manager Joe Girardi told The Athletic’s Meghan Montemurro and other reporters.
Realmuto was still able to field his position in the bottom half of the inning but was replaced by a pinch-hitter in the top of the ninth. Realmuto will be re-examined tomorrow, and given the circumstances, it could be that the Phils were just being cautious in removing a star player in the final inning of a one-sided game.
Needless to say, of course, losing Realmuto for any stretch of time would be a huge blow to a Philadelphia team that is trying to lock down (at minimum) a playoff berth and still has hopes of catching the Braves for first place in the NL East. Realmuto has been his usual outstanding self, entering tonight’s game with 11 home runs and a .274/.361/.541 slash line over his first 166 plate appearances. Realmuto’s .903 OPS represents a career best, with the obvious caveat that a “career best” has an asterisk in this shortened season.
Andrew Knapp is the Phillies’ backup catcher, and none of the three backstops at their alternate training site (Henri Lartigue, Rafael Marchan, Logan O’Hoppe) have any MLB experience. In the worst-case scenario of a Realmuto IL trip, it seems like the Phillies would be very likely to sign a veteran catcher to act as Knapp’s backup.