J.T. Realmuto helped Phillies sign starter Chase Anderson
By Matt Rappa
Bryce Harper is not the only Philadelphia Phillies player this offseason to recruit a player to wear red pinstripes.
Amid the club trying to re-sign J.T. Realmuto this offseason, the star catcher apparently was likewise recruiting players, among them being right-hander Chase Anderson.
J.T. Realmuto recruited starting pitcher Chase Anderson to sign with the Phillies.
A seven-year veteran, the 33-year-old Anderson recently signed with the Phillies as a low-risk, much-needed starting rotation depth following the departure of Jake Arrieta and the season expanding from 60 to 162 games.
Realmuto called Anderson, according to 6ABC’s Jeff Skversky, to tell him to come to Philadelphia and that it’s a great place to play. They talked for an hour before Anderson decided to sign with the Phillies. The pitcher reportedly had a few other offers, but wanted to come to the Phillies to win.
“Look at the numbers on both sides of the ball, offensively and defensively. He is the best catcher in the major leagues,” Anderson recently told reporters. “I threw to Yasmani Grandal in 2019 in Milwaukee. That was a treat.”
Despite his thumb injury, J.T. Realmuto is still staying active in Clearwater.
Realmuto is currently battling a small fracture in his right thumb, but is still participating in drills down in Clearwater while wearing a hard cast. The injury happened nearly a week prior to pitchers and catchers reporting, when the catcher attempted to block a ball in the dirt.
So far in spring training, Realmuto has caught a bullpen session and has hit with his left hand only. In the meantime, he will miss a good portion of the 28-game Grapefruit League schedule. The Phillies hope Realmuto will be ready for Opening Day on April 1.
From Harper getting closer Brandon Kintzler to “ditch” the Miami Marlins, and now hearing of Realmuto being influential in Anderson signing in Philadelphia, it is a positive sign to see.
Anderson added that just from throwing to veteran catchers in his career, and guys who are “really good with the glove behind the plate and calling a game,” he has found success.
“I think, for me, [throwing to J.T. is] going to be huge,” Anderson continued.
Hopefully, the trend continues in 2021 with the Phillies.