Oof. That’s some seriously bad timing for the Phillies and star catcher J.T. Realmuto, whose free agent journey led him back to Philadelphia on a five-year, $115 million deal at the end of January
And in the intervening three weeks, Realmuto apparently broke his thumb:
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
Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto suffered a broken thumb in his throwing hand and is expected to miss up to a month. He should be ready for Opening Day but will be out a number of spring games after signing a free agent deal for five years and $115M.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 18, 2021
To say that Realmuto is critically important to the Phillies is possibly an understatement, so this has potentially significant ramifications in the NL East right out of the gate. If Realmuto misses time, or has his effectiveness impacted, that’s a big deal.
Fortunately for the Phillies, there’s still nearly a month and a half to go before the season, and veteran position players like Realmuto tend to need the least time of all to be ready. Still, even if he’s good to go for April 1, I can’t think it’s great to be missing your starting catcher for virtually all of the spring games.
And, yes, I also wonder how he broke his thumb in the time between signing the new deal and today.