Phillies News

Dombrowski says Realmuto ‘tough as nails,' expects to miss ‘about a month' with surgery

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BOSTON — Sometimes even the toughest players can't push through an injury. And that's saying a lot when it comes to J.T. Realmuto.

Realmuto was placed on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to June 10) and is scheduled to undergo right knee meniscectomy surgery on Wednesday in Philadelphia, President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski announced.

The surgery will be on the same knee that kept him sidelined in four games early May.

"We thought, again, he might be able to play his way through it," Dombrowski said Tuesday. "It should be about a month that he'll be out. I rather it get done now, as he would. Get it taken care of and then know that he's coming back, rather than it stir up later in the year and then have to do it at an inopportune time right down the stretch.

"We knew there was a little tear in there but they thought that he would be able to potentially nurse it along and [Realmuto] felt that way himself.

"In fact, at the time, he was like, 'no, I'm fine, I'm fine,' but it just kept bothering him more. And then also you could see it at times, his movements would become a little bit more diminished in that. And there have been people that have worked through Meniscus tears. If anybody could, it would be him, but it just got too bad."

Rafael Marchán, who was the Phillies' 27th man for London, has been recalled from Lehigh Valley. He started the season on the 10-day injured list with lower back pain, was reinstated on May 27 and optioned to Lehigh Valley. When Realmuto missed time just a month ago, Garrett Stubbs started in four consecutive games for the first time in his MLB career.

"We're comfortable with it," Dombrowski said on the catching situation in Realmuto's absence. "Stubbs has actually been playing pretty well for us recently. We like Marchán, we actually have liked him for years. One of the difficulties for Marchán has always been he's been hurt a lot. But he got back recently from that back and he's played fine in Triple A.

"The one thing that, in most situations, from a defensive perspective, I feel great about the catching. Marchán is an outstanding defensive catcher, I mean he can really throw. He handles, when I talk to our people they've told me this for a year, he handles the pitching staff very well. They like throwing to him, he studies the opposing hitters. Just like Stubbsy does, they feel comfortable throwing to Stubbsy.

"I'm kind of anxious to see Marchán get an opportunity to contribute and I think he'll do that."

Manager Rob Thomson also noted that he is comfortable with the duo. "We've won a lot of games with Stubbs," he said. "Marchán's always been a really good catcher and can handle a staff as long as he stays healthy."

The Phillies have found success with their next man up mentality this season. Edmundo Sosa and Kody Clemens following Trea Turner's injury and David Dahl with Brandon Marsh's.

Replacing Realmuto for the foreseeable future, though, is a daunting task. Especially given how slim the position is within the Phillies' system once it gets past the duo.

"He's as tough as they come," Dombrowski said. "He's just a tough, tough son of a gun. He goes out there every day, he posts, loves to play, he gets beat up, shakes it off. I don't know how he does it, actually. I really don't have any idea. He's as tough as they come, he's as tough as nails."

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