Phillies Injury Update

Realmuto, Schwarber remain out for Phillies vs. Mets

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NEW YORK — The Phillies began a two-game series at Citi Field Monday without their starting catcher and designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto missed a second straight game with a sore right knee and Kyle Schwarber missed his third in a row with lower back soreness.

Both hope to avoid the injured list, though with a short turnaround from Monday's 7:10 p.m. game to Tuesday at 1:10 p.m., they may miss Game 2 as well.

Prior to missing the final two games of the Marlins series, Schwarber had played 354 of 363 in the regular season as a Phillie. On Saturday, after missing just one game, he said he was itching to get back in the lineup. "The boys are raking," he said with a bit of FOMO.

Schwarber hit in the cage Monday afternoon and "looked really good," according to manager Rob Thomson. Realmuto felt a little bit better Monday than he did Sunday, when he was scratched from the lineup three hours before game time.

"We'll just go day-to-day with both of them," Thomson said.

It wasn't surprising to see the Phillies give Schwarber at least one extra day with lefty Sean Manaea starting for the Mets. Nearly 90 percent of plate appearances against Manaea this season have come from right-handed hitters, but starting Schwarber would have meant five lefties in the starting lineup with Bryce Harper, Bryson Stott, Brandon Marsh and Stubbs.

Realmuto has not gone for testing on the knee, which has been barking for a little over a week. "That's kind of the level of concern we're at right now," Thomson said, indicating worries haven't risen.

The Phillies have very little catching depth behind Realmuto, one of their three most indispensable players. Backup Garrett Stubbs started just 32 games behind the plate each of the last two seasons. He's hit .220/.303/.343 in 276 plate appearances as a Phillie. The organization values his game-planning ability and the energy he brings, but there's an obvious drop-off between Realmuto and pretty much any backup catcher.

Rafael Marchan is the only other catcher on the Phillies' 40-man roster. The Phils like the 25-year-old's defensive ability but he has had trouble staying on the field the last two seasons because of hamstring, hand and back injuries. Marchan is expected to finally return to game action on Tuesday at extended spring training.

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