Two days into camp does not seem like the ideal time to hurt yourself. Before his third season (and monster new contract) with the Phillies could begin, J.T. Realmuto has broken his thumb reports NBC Sports Jim Salisbury. Realmuto sustained the injury six days ago after catching a bullpen session.
Joe Girardi just finished his daily videoconference with reporters so now I will tweet -- JT Realmuto suffered fracture in R thumb catching a 'pen six days ago. Thumb is immobilized for two weeks. Girardi hopes JT will be ready for opener but not certain.— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyNBCS) February 18, 2021
While Philadelphia is anticipating Realmuto will be ready for Opening Day, he will miss a significant chunk of Spring Training that could hold him back even further.
The 29-year old hit the free agent market this offseason after rejecting a $18.9M qualifying offer from the Phillies. But the team couldn’t part with him, and resigned the catcher for a 5-year, $115.5M, the highest annual salary for any catcher in MLB history. And it’s hard to blame them, his most lacking season of recent memory was last year, where he still slashed a .266/.349/.491 and 11 home runs. Prior to that he had two back-to-back All-Star and Silver Slugger seasons. He’s also lead all MLB catchers in WAR, stolen bases, and RBIs since 2018.
Realmuto will be reevaluated after the two weeks have passed and a better timeline on his recovery will be clear. In the extreme case that he won’t be ready for Opening Day, it’s likely the Phillies will look to backup catcher Andrew Knapp to take the reins.