If a player is not on the injured list, consider them healthy. At least, that’s what the Phillies want the opposing team to believe.
Manager Joe Girardi said after Saturday’s 5-3 loss to Tampa Bay that the team will no longer provide injury updates on players who are on the active roster.
“Not if they’re on my roster, I’m not,” Girardi said. “It’s not fair to us because it puts us at a disadvantage if the other manager knows that we can’t use someone. So if he’s on our roster, he’s available. If you want to ask me about someone who’s on the IL, go ahead. I have no problem with that. But we’re not going to do that anymore.”
The change comes days after Girardi -- whose team has lost nine of its last 13 games -- took some flack after insisting Bryce Harper was healthy as he missed two games before being placed on the injured list on Tuesday with a bruised wrist. The manager was asked Thursday if an injury forced him to remove Jean Segura after using him as a pinch hitter.
“We’re going to approach this differently,” Girardi said Thursday. “I’ve talked to people in our organization. Just a manager’s decision. And I’m not going to share anything-- who’s available, who’s not available -- because I think it’s somewhat unfair to us. Just like if you were to do something, you’re not necessarily going to share it with a rival reporter. So that’s the way we’re going to handle it. Just a manager’s decision.”
This season, Girardi has listed players as “day to day” while describing the injuries they were dealing with. For example, J.T. Realmuto was “day to day” with a sore hand as he sat out four straight games with a bruised left hand before moving to the injured list. When Harper missed a game in April, Girardi said before the game it was because of the player’s back but he considered him day to day. Harper returned for the next game.
That information will no longer come from the manager’s office. Girardi explained Tuesday that he fibbed about Harper’s status last week to keep the opposing managers from knowing that Harper was not available even though he was active.
“There’s a distinct advantage here to the other manager if I tell you that a guy’s wrist is hurt,” Girardi said. “The idea here is to win games. It’s kind of like me telling you who’s available in the bullpen and who’s not available. I don’t like doing that because I don’t want [the other manager] to know who I might use or not use. I understand you might want to know, but there are distinct advantages I could give to another club if they know everything that’s going on over here. I’m sorry I had to do that but we’re trying to win games.”
J.T. Realmuto returned from the injured list Saturday, the first day he was eligible to be activated after being sidelined with a bruised left hand. He batted fourth and went 0-for-3 with a strikeout.
“We were able to get him at-bats at our Clearwater site and we felt like we could use him,” Girardi said. “We’re facing some left-handers here and we felt like it was a good time to get him back. He had no issues. He got at-bats. He’s been catching and we weren’t too concerned about that. I wanted to make sure he got live at-bats and when he came back the next day, he felt OK. He was able to do that Friday.”
Matt Joyce homered in the seventh inning to tie the game at 3. The homer broke an 0-for-28 slump. ... The teams combined for 31 strikeouts. ... Zach Eflin will start Sunday’s series finale against the Rays.