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Marlins scratch Realmuto with banged-up knee

Catcher expected to return to lineup Saturday vs. Cardinals
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

JUPITER, Fla. -- The plan to give Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto a second straight start behind the plate was sidetracked on Friday morning. The 26-year-old was scratched about two hours before Miami was set to face the Red Sox in Grapefruit League play at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.

Realmuto bruised his left knee by a foul ball on Thursday, and as a precaution, he was not in the lineup in the Marlins' 5-4 win over the Red Sox. Tomas Telis made the start behind the plate. Realmuto and Telis are expected to be the two catchers the Marlins will carry.

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JUPITER, Fla. -- The plan to give Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto a second straight start behind the plate was sidetracked on Friday morning. The 26-year-old was scratched about two hours before Miami was set to face the Red Sox in Grapefruit League play at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.

Realmuto bruised his left knee by a foul ball on Thursday, and as a precaution, he was not in the lineup in the Marlins' 5-4 win over the Red Sox. Tomas Telis made the start behind the plate. Realmuto and Telis are expected to be the two catchers the Marlins will carry.

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"There's no reason to push it right now," Realmuto said. "Just a day thing. I should be fine and get ready to go."

There are just under three weeks before the Marlins open the regular season against the Cubs on March 29 at Marlins Park. Now is the time when the club is extending the playing time of the regulars.

"Today was actually supposed to be my first back-to-back day," Realmuto said. "I'm kind of upset that I didn't get to, because that will help get my legs conditioned. We've got three weeks left. My legs will be ready to go."

Realmuto is confident he can be back in the lineup on Saturday against the Cardinals.

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On Thursday, Realmuto was shaken up in the first inning. St. Louis designated hitter Jose Martinez, who was batting second, fouled the ball off Realmuto's knee.

"It was sort of stiff," Realmuto said. "I was actually going to come out after that first inning, but I wanted to stay in and get more at-bats and catch Jose [Urena]. I ended up catching those four. After the game, it started to get pretty stiff."

Urena and Dan Straily, who started for the Marlins on Friday, are the two choices to start for Miami on Opening Day. Realmuto was going to get a chance to catch them both in a two-day span.

Realmuto has been playing regularly in Grapefruit League games, accumulating 19 at-bats with one home run and three RBIs at the halfway mark. Realmuto has also played consecutive days, but he's either caught or been the designated hitter. 

Realmuto has been one of the most durable catchers the past few seasons. In 2017, he appeared in 141 games, and he further established himself as one of the most athletic catchers in the sport. He finished with a slash line of .278/.332/.451, with career highs in home runs (17) and RBIs (65).

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, J.T. Realmuto, Tomas Telis