Two days into spring training, the Phillies already have their first injury — and it's to a very important player.
Catcher J.T. Realmuto has a small fracture at the base of his right thumb, manager Joe Girardi said on Thursday. Realmuto will be placed in a cast on Friday and will be immobilized for two weeks at which time he'll be evaluated by medical personnel.
Speaking with reporters, Realmuto expressed confidence that he would be ready to open the season on April 1, but he also said he won't rush if it's deemed that he needs more time.
"I'm not worried," he said.
Realmuto suffered the injury catching a bullpen session thrown by newcomer Jose Alvarado during a pre-camp workout last week. A breaking ball bounced in the dirt and hit Realmuto on the right thumb. For several days, Realmuto thought he had suffered a bone bruise. He had trouble throwing the baseball on Wednesday and further evaluation revealed the fracture.
The Phillies are thin at catcher with just Realmuto, Andrew Knapp and Rafael Marchan on the 40-man roster. Earlier this week, the Phillies signed veteran Jeff Mathis, a strong defender, to a minor-league deal. The signing was in the works before Realmuto's injury, according to Girardi. Nonetheless, Mathis could be in play for a roster spot if Realmuto is not ready for opening day.
Check back for more details on Realmuto's injury.