PHILADELPHIA -- It's almost been a month since J.T. Realmuto suffered a bone bruise to his lower back, and it continues to appear that the Marlins' frontline catcher is about two weeks away from returning.As the Marlins are patching their catching situation together during their road trip in Philadelphia, Realmuto
PHILADELPHIA -- It's almost been a month since J.T. Realmuto suffered a bone bruise to his lower back, and it continues to appear that the Marlins' frontline catcher is about two weeks away from returning.
As the Marlins are patching their catching situation together during their road trip in Philadelphia, Realmuto is at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla., progressing in his rehabilitation.
"He's doing more and more," manager Don Mattingly said. "He's still progressing. He's been doing some catching stuff, and he's been taking some swings, and moving forward. We're happy with where he's at. He hasn't had any setbacks. We're still on a pretty decent little timetable with him."
Realmuto opened the season on the disabled list with a low back contusion, which he sustained during a collision at second base against the Yankees on March 11 in a Grapefruit League game.
The Marlins haven't officially announced a return date. The best case scenario is either the April 16-17 series at the Yankees, or sometime during the ensuing series, at Milwaukee, from April 19-22.
Chad Wallach has been getting the majority of the starts at catcher, while John Holaday has also made a couple of starts. Tomas Telis is the third catcher on the roster, but he's been used mostly as a pinch-hitter and late-inning replacement.
Adjusting to offspeed: Until they show they can handle offspeed pitches, the young Marlins hitters are going to see a steady stream of them.
According to Statcast™, rookies Lewis Brinson and Brian Anderson are especially being tested with offspeed pitches. Anderson has seen 42.03 percent offspeed pitches and 57.97 percent fastballs. Brinson has faced 40.41 percent breaking balls and 57.53 percent fastballs.
Comparatively, Derek Dietrich has seen 65.69 percent fastballs to 34.31 offspeed, and Starlin Castro fastball-to-offspeed ratio is 64.15 to 35.85.
"Obviously, they're going to be noticing different tendencies," Anderson said. "I think at one point, I got 14 or 15 straight breaking balls from the Red Sox [in two games at Marlins Park].
"They're going to throw you whatever they can to get you out. It's our jobs as hitters to adjust to that and find ways at defeating that. As young hitters, you're going to have to encounter that problem in order to correct it."
Mattingly shuffled the top of the order on Saturday, flipping Brinson and Dietrich. Brinson, who led off the first seven games, batted second, with Dietrich moving up to the first spot.
"They're going to pitch him according to what they see," Mattingly said of Brinson. "He's not getting pitched with offspeed because he's sitting up there at the top of the order. That's a traditional spot that probably gets more fastballs than any other spot in your lineup. But if they're showing they can get you out with the breaking ball, [hitters are] going to see them."
• Wei-Yin Chen (left elbow strain) threw a simulated game on Saturday, tossing 42 pitches in three innings. The earliest return for Chen would be sometime in May.
• The Marlins announced Jarlin Garcia, who has allowed two runs in 10 innings of relief, will be joining the rotation. The left-hander's first start will be on Wednesday against the Mets at Marlins Park.
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.