Who are the next catchers up if the Phillies need to dig into minor league depth?

After Realmuto, who do the Phillies have as viable options at catcher? Stubbs, Marchán … then who?
2024 London Series - Philadelphia Phillies v New York Mets
2024 London Series - Philadelphia Phillies v New York Mets / Ryan Pierse/GettyImages

When the Philadelphia Phillies had a relatively healthy J.T. Realmuto the past few seasons, they never really had to worry much about who was going to be the starting catcher behind the plate. After all, Realmuto has never played less than 134 games over a full 162-game season throughout his tenure with the Phillies and has been well-accustomed to handling a heavy workload year in and year out. As a result, the team never had the urgency nor necessity of having solid catching depth behind him.

However, with Realmuto’s recent right knee surgery to help resolve the pain that he was experiencing, the timeline has the veteran catcher out at least a month, and perhaps more, depending on how well the recovery goes and how fast he can get back up to speed. This will mark the first time that the Phillies won’t have the services of their All-Star catcher for a significant period of time. Meanwhile, the Phillies have been forced to run with a tandem of Garrett Stubbs and Rafael Marchán in Realmuto’s absence.

Both Stubbs and Marchán have prior MLB experience under their belt, with Stubbs being the Phillies’ main backup catcher the past three seasons, and Marchán under a similar role back in 2021 as well. Stubbs is probably the more defensively-responsible of the two but with limited offensive output, whereas Marchán carries the more potent bat but has had trouble staying healthy in recent years. So in a way, their strengths and weaknesses help complement each other as a tandem. But if anything happens to either one of the players, who would be the next in line in the organization to be called up?

Who are the next catchers up if the Phillies need to dig into minor league depth?

First and foremost, in terms of the Phillies’ catching prospects, their current top-rated ones include Eduardo Tait, Caleb Ricketts and Kenden Hettiger. However, none of them are currently playing higher than Double-A ball, with their top-ranked catcher Tait just starting off in Rookie level this season. As a result, there’s no doubt that the Phillies won’t be calling them up or even consider them any time soon for that matter.

If the Phillies need any more help at the backstop position, it will have to come from their veteran stash with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Which would mean we would be looking at the likes of Aramis Garcia, Cody Roberts and José Godoy as the next in line in the organization.

Garcia at least has seen time in the majors with the San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics and Cincinnati Reds in the past seven years and has displayed some power with 10 career home runs in 116 total MLB games. For Roberts, he has yet to see any big league action, now going into his seventh season of his professional baseball career. Godoy has suited up in all of just 26 MLB games, posting a dismal .123 average and just four RBI in the process. In other words, not exactly the calming assurance that one would expect.

Overall, after taking a quick scan of the Phillies’ catching depth, it’s actually kind of scary to see the huge drop-off in production and talent beyond Realmuto. It may not be an urgent need for the ball club, but when the trade deadline rolls around, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for the Phillies to explore potential catching depth options as insurance down the stretch, just to be on the safe side for what has been an unbelievable season to date.