From a broken right thumb in spring training, to a deep bone bruise at the base of his catching hand early in the season, to a sore right shoulder in recent weeks, J.T. Realmuto's season has been filled with nagging injuries.
And now, potentially, comes another
Realmuto was hit in the area of his left elbow/triceps by a pitch from Chicago Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks in the fourth inning of Thursday night's wild, 17-8, victory.
The win left the Phillies three games out in the NL East and 2½ back in the wild-card race with 16 games to go as they head to New York for a huge series with the Mets beginning Friday night.
It's not clear whether Realmuto will be able to play.
Surely, his left arm was packed in ice as the team bused to New York late Thursday night.
"I don't know what his availability will be (Friday)," manager Joe Girardi said. "It was pretty swollen. It's in the triceps muscle. They're treating it, trying to get the swelling out. I won't know till I get to the ballpark tomorrow."
Realmuto has struggled at times this month, but he's swung the bat well his last three games. He had an injection of anti-inflammatory medicine in his shoulder on Sunday and had three hits, including a homer, Wednesday and another big hit to bring the Phillies back from a seven-run deficit Thursday night. That hit was a game-tying, two-run single immediately after MVP candidate Bryce Harper drew a walk in his second plate appearance of the fourth inning.
Realmuto also had an RBI hit after a Harper walk on Wednesday night.
If Realmuto keeps swinging the bat well in the cleanup spot, Harper will see more pitches in the No. 3 hole. So, the Phillies are crossing their fingers that this latest setback proves to be minor.
It would not be surprising to see the Phils bring rookie catcher Rafael Marchan to New York and have him on standby if Realmuto needs a day or two. Realmuto, Marchan and Andrew Knapp are the only catchers on the team's 40-man roster.