Phillies' devastating J.T. Realmuto injury update leaves big shoes to fill

The star catcher will undergo knee surgery on Wednesday.
Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto has been placed on the 10-day IL and will undergo knee surgery
Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto has been placed on the 10-day IL and will undergo knee surgery / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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With already-injured Philadelphia Phillies players Trea Turner and Brandon Marsh on the mend and coming back soon, the team lost another massive piece on Tuesday with the news that catcher J.T. Realmuto has been placed on the 10-day IL. The move is retroactive to Monday, June 10.

The news gets worse from there. Realmuto isn't just going on the injured list, he's also going under the knife.

One day after returning from the MLB London Series, the team announced that Realmuto will undergo right knee meniscectomy surgery on Wednesday in Philadelphia. In his place, they have recalled catcher Rafael Marchán from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Phillies' devastating J.T. Realmuto injury update leaves big shoes to fill

Realmuto missed three games in May with knee soreness, and while he came back from that, he wasn't 100 percent healthy. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer's Scott Lauber, manager Rob Thomson admitted last week that the star backstop had been "tolerating" the problem with his knee.

The Phillies, notably, didn't include a timetable for Realmuto's return. According to the Hospital for Special Surgery, a meniscectomy is the removal of the torn meniscus. The procedure can vary depending on how much has to be removed and "is often performed through minimally invasive incisions using an arthroscope and arthroscopic instruments."

Losing a player like Realmuto is a devastating turn of events for a Phillies team that has already had to ride out the loss of shortstop Turner for almost six weeks. Considering Realmuto's role as the unquestioned No. 1 catcher and one of the top catchers in the game, the Phillies don't have anyone to step in and do anything close to what he does on a daily basis.

The 33-year-old is slashing .261/.309/.411 with seven home runs and 20 RBI through 51 of the team's 65 games this season. In addition to his contributions at the plate, he has the undisputed trust of the pitching staff and can control the running game with one of the best pop times in the majors.

Backup Garrett Stubbs is serviceable but has never been forced into a full-time role. He's slashing .173/.271/.192 in 59 plate appearances this year and has never appeared in more than 50 games in a single season, which he did in 2022.

Marchán, who joined the team in London as insurance, will stay with the club for the foreseeable future. He has 23 games of MLB experience (in 2020 and 2021) with a .267/.323/.417 slash line in a limited, 65-plate appearance sample size.

The recovery time from Realmuto's surgery could take anywhere from four to eight weeks, but how long it will actually take is anyone's guess at this time. The team and the fans will hope it's not too long.

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