Phillies hold their breath, hope that Realmuto's absence will not be a long one


Catcher J.T. Realmuto, one of the Phillies' most indispensable players, left Wednesday night's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers after taking two foul balls off the face mask in the top of the first inning.

It is standard Major League Baseball policy that any player leaving a game after taking a blow to the head be checked for a concussion. 

Realmuto was hit twice by foul balls off the bat of Max Muncy. The second one seemed to hit Realmuto the hardest. It ripped off his mask on impact. He dropped to his knees and was tended to by a team athletic trainer. He finished the top half of the first inning then exited in favor of pinch-hitter Andrew Knapp in the bottom of the inning.

"He's day-to-day, questionable," manager Joe Girardi said after the game, an 8-2 Phillies loss. "We'll have to see how he is tomorrow, just wait and see. He went through testing and we'll wait for results tomorrow from MLB."


Losing Realmuto for any amount of time would be a blow to the Phillies. He hit .414 (12 for 29) with three doubles, two homers and 10 RBIs in the team's recent eight-game winning streak.

Update: Phillies get good news on Realmuto

The Phillies have just two catchers on their active roster, Realmuto and Knapp. Utilityman Luke Williams could serve as an emergency catcher if needed. If Realmuto needs time on the seven-day concussion-related injured list, the Phillies could recall Rafael Marchan in time for Thursday afternoon's game. Given the understandable caution teams show with head injuries, that would seem likely.


Injuries have hit the Phillies hard all season and especially lately. Rhys Hoskins, who leads the team in homers and RBIs, went on the IL with a groin strain Tuesday. Setup man Jose Alvarado went on the IL with a shoulder impingement on Wednesday. Outfielder Andrew McCutchen came off the IL earlier in the day.

Realmuto was on the injured list in May with a contusion at the base of his left hand.

Wednesday night's game began with rain looming. For that reason, the Phillies used their bullpen (Connor Brogdon and Hector Neris) to start the game and held back scheduled starter Kyle Gibson until the rains came and went.

The game, in fact, was delayed by rain before the start of the third inning and Gibson entered when play resumed.

Tuesday night's game was also delayed by rain and it resulted in the Phillies losing starting pitcher Aaron Nola after four innings.

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