By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor
It was nearly a month ago that the Phillies re-signed JT Realmuto and really began to shed the notion that they would be cheap and cut costs this winter.
It was the first step to returning their offensive starters, but it seems that plan may have to wait a bit.
On Thursday, manager Joe Girardi told the press that Realmuto had suffered a fractured thumb. It is an injury that will reportedly sideline him for at least two weeks.
Girardi: J.T. Realmuto has a fractured thumb. Re-evaluated in two weeks. They are hoping he'll be ready for Opening Day, but they are not sure.— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) February 18, 2021
There is optimism that he could be ready for Opening Day, so that should not be ruled out.
Of course, more will be known later and setbacks could always occur; one should not forget there was optimism Seranthony Dominguez or David Robertson would pitch sometime last season.
If he were to miss time, Andrew Knapp, a player who the Phillies seemed content with being the starter were they not able to #SignJT, will take up the role.
Knapp, while not a Gold Glove, Silver Slugger All-Star like Realmuto, had a big season in 2020. It seemed fans had had enough of Knapp after the 2019 season and were prepared to get rid of him, but Knapp responded with a slash line of .278/.404/.444 in 33 games in 2020 while also showing off his own defense and his game calling abilities.
The backup to Knapp at that point will likely be something to watch in Spring Training as prospect Rafael Marchan will likely compete with the re-signed Christian Bethancourt and the recently signed Jeff Mathis
It is notable that teams will have a taxi squad again this season (for road trips), so there is likely to be a catcher placed on that group.