The Phillies will have to play at least two more games without J.T. Realmuto. The catcher is not expected to return this weekend against Toronto as the team had originally planned.
Realmuto “ran lightly” before Thursday’s game at a 50% effort level, manager Joe Girardi said. The Phillies were expected to evaluate his left hip soreness again before Friday’s games. Girardi said earlier in the week that Realmuto was “itching to get back,” and that the Phillies were hopeful he would return for their four-game weekend series with the Blue Jays.
“I’m optimistic,” Girardi said. “But it’s too soon.”
If Realmuto returns Monday, his injury will have cost him 10 games in eight days. He left the Sept. 12 game in Miami after feeling “a little pop” while running to first base. He returned to play the field the next inning but did not feel right.
The Phillies did not place him on the injured list but instead considered him “day to day,” and promoted 21-year-old Rafael Marchan from the minors. They also signed veteran backup catcher Jonathan Lucroy to a minor-league contract, which seemed to be an insurance policy in case Realmuto cannot return this season.
The Phillies played both games of Friday’s doubleheader without Jean Segura, who left Thursday night’s loss after being hit in the triceps with a 98-mph sinker. Segura’s injury left the Phillies with just four infielders on their roster before they activated Jay Bruce from the injured list Friday.
Segura was hitting .378 (17-for-45) with six extra-base hits in his last 13 games. The Phillies will be hard-pressed to replace that production if Segura’s absence is extended.
Vince Velasquez will start Saturday night against the Blue Jays, but the Phillies still need to find a starter for the series finale Sunday afternoon to replace Jake Arrieta. Cole Irvin, who is at the training site in Allentown, could be an option. ... Adam Haseley did not start either game Friday. ... Andrew Knapp has caught each of Eflin’s last three complete games after he caught his seven-inning shutout Friday.