The Phillies were forced Friday to place J.T. Realmuto on the injured list after initially hoping the bone bruise in his left hand would heal in time for him to play in the series opener against Boston.
Realmuto suffered the injury April 29, and he had missed four straight games since aggravating it last Saturday. The Phillies listed him as day to day, believing that the injury would not require a stint on the injured list. The move is retroactive to May 18 and Realmuto can not return before next Saturday.
Phillies manager Joe Girardi said he hopes Realmuto’s bone bruise heals by then.
“I mean, we thought it was going to be out by now,” Girardi said.
Realmuto hit off a tee on Friday afternoon but felt discomfort. That was enough for the Phillies to place him on the injured list.
» READ MORE: Spencer Howard to start for Phillies on Saturday
He was replaced on the roster by Matt Joyce, who gives the Phillies a needed bench bat. The Phillies had played the last week with a short bench as some of their four reserve spots were claimed by injured players like Realmuto.
“I’d say that unfortunately, we’ve had a lot of injuries so we’re in a position where being short is something that’s happened too much,” president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said. “But it’s not done because we’re weighting star player, non-star player, it’s really always medically oriented. “I mean, I put a guy on the injured list as soon as we find out that he should go on.
“But really it comes down to that we keep thinking, like in J.T.’s case, he was doing fine,” Dombrowski added. “He got sick, comes back Saturday, feels it, OK, then Sunday and the doctor wants to do a full workup on Monday with him so they do a full workup. They find nothing structurally wrong, so they figured that they’d treat it and he should be able to go about Thursday or Friday. It’s not getting better, so finally, you have to make a decision. But if somebody would have told me three days ago, go ahead and put him on the list, we would have done it.
“Unfortunately, it’s been a lot of these day-to-day-type things. Really there’s something every single day.”
Velasquez is OK
Vince Velasquez was examined Friday by a vascular surgeon after a numb finger on his pitching hand caused him to be scratched from his scheduled start Thursday night. The Phillies say Velasquez is on track to start next week in Miami.
“I’m not worried about it,” Velasquez said of his right index finger after Thursday’s 6-0 loss to Miami. “I’m not going to lose a finger or anything like that. It’s just, as much as I wanted to throw today and help the team win this series, it was very hard for me to even grip the ball.”
Pitchers using sticky stuff?
Dave Dombrowski couldn’t say Friday if he agreed with J.T. Realmuto, who earlier this week said baseball’s offensive drought could be fixed if the league cracked down on pitchers using sticky substances to increase the spin on their pitches.
“I cannot answer that because that’s one of those where on the field they know much more than I do,” Dombrowski said “But I do think that the pitching is much better and dominant, and they throw harder from top to bottom on your staff. It just so happens we haven’t faced many guys where I would ever say, ‘Oh, that guy is a below-average starting pitcher.’ We just don’t ever seem to face them.
“Now, I will say that if you go back and do some research, and I have done this before, that when you don’t have expansion for a number of years, usually at some point the pitching far exceeds the hitting. If you go back and do some research. And even taking two extra teams and 30 more big league pitchers can really make a difference. I’m not saying that’s what should fix it, but it’s been a long time since that’s happened and I think the pitching right now is just better than the hitting overall.”
Dombrowski said he did not have any regrets for trading Cole Irvin, who has a 3.59 ERA in nine starts with Oakland after being dealt there in January. “I didn’t even know Cole Irvin. Our reports on him put him at the back end of the roster at that point. ... He’s done great for them.” ... The Phillies will have to make a roster move before Saturday’s game to add Spencer Howard to the roster. Howard will face Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi.