JT REALMUTO’S A MONSTER — CAN PHILS TREAD WATER TILL HE’S BACK?

By Chuck Powers

The Phillies placed catcher J.T. Realmuto on the 10-day injured list on Tuesday and said he will need surgery to remove cartilage in his right knee.

The team said Realmuto will undergo a right knee meniscectomy today, and there’s no timetable for his return.

Realmuto hit .261 while helping Philadelphia open a nine-game lead in the NL East. His seven homers was tied for most among all NL catchers, and his 17-game hitting streak last month was the longest for a Phillies catcher in baseball’s modern era.

To fill his spot on the roster, the Phillies recalled catcher Rafael Marchán from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Marchán, 25, was the extra player activated for the London Series against the New York Mets last weekend, but he did not appear in either game.

Realmuto has hit .261/.309/.411 this year with seven home runs, leading to a wRC+ of 105. He’s also generally graded as one of the best catchers at stifling the running game. Since being acquired by the Phillies from the Marlins prior to the 2019 season, he has slashed .266/.330/.463 for a 112 wRC+ and produced 22.1 wins above replacement in the eyes of FanGraphs.

His absence will leave the Phils with just two healthy catchers on their 40-man roster in Marchán and Garrett Stubbs, which is less than ideal. Stubbs has a career batting line of .213/.289/.316 along with fairly uninspiring grades for his glovework. Marchán has hit .242/.331/.342 in the minors since the start of 2021 and has just 65 major league plate appearances, though he does have a strong defensive reputation.

With Realmuto likely back in a few weeks, the club won’t be looking to replace Realmuto with a blockbuster deal, but they may keep their eyes open for smaller transactions.

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