Phillies: Rafael Marchan addition bad sign for J.T. Realmuto
By Matt Rappa
Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto’s injury could be more serious than we think
Three Philadelphia Phillies transactions before Game 2 of their doubleheader against the Miami Marlins on Sunday could indicate the potential severity of catcher J.T. Realmuto‘s hip soreness.
The Phillies announced that they have purchased the contract of catcher Rafael Marchan from their alternate training site in Lehigh Valley.
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As corresponding moves, LHP Jose Alvarez (testicular contusion) was transferred to the 45-day injured list to create room on the 40-man roster, and RHP Connor Brogdon was optioned to the alternate training site to create room on the active roster.
While Marchan, 21, did not appear in Game 2 — with backup Andrew Knapp catching both games of the twin bill — his addition has raised concerns that Realmuto perhaps could be sidelined longer than just one day due to his injury.
“Maybe reading too much into it, but the Phillies calling up catcher Rafael Marchan but still starting Andrew Knapp in both games of the doubleheader is an indication to me that they think Realmuto could miss time beyond today,” NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Corey Seidman speculates.
After going 2-for-4 with a walk during Saturday’s 12-6 win against the Marlins, it was Realmuto’s last plate appearance in the eighth that drew the most attention. The Phillies catcher left the game with hip discomfort, feeling something while running to first base during his eighth-inning groundout. The TV broadcast showed Realmuto walk into the dugout tunnel with a trainer shortly after his groundout. Knapp pinched hit for him in the top of the ninth and finished the game as the backup catcher.
Afterward, Phillies manager Joe Girardi said the Phillies have to see how Realmuto is on Sunday and “keep our fingers crossed.”
No official word has come yet on to the potential long-terms severity of Realmuto’s hip soreness; a clearer picture will likely come following his MRI. Following Sunday’s action, Girardi told reporters that Marchan will receive playing time behind the plate, as “he doesn’t want to run Knapp into ground,” The Athletic’s Meghan Montemurro reports.
For now, Marchan will serve as the Phillies’ backup catcher to Knapp, despite beginning the season as the fourth catcher on the team’s depth chart.
Marchan rose in the rankings when the Boston Red Sox claimed 24-year-old slugger Deivy Grullon off waivers from the Phillies in early September. While Marchan is two years younger than Grullon, he has never played at the Double-A level or higher, nor has yet to hit a professional home run.
With just 15 games to go, and the Phils falling to third place in the National League East standings, this is anything but an ideal scenario for Girardi’s squad, as it looks to qualify for the postseason for the first time since 2011.