J.T. Realmuto can let his bruised left knee heal on Thursday without leaving the Phillies shorthanded on the bench.
The team announced before its series finale against the Nationals at Nationals Park that it placed Realmuto on the COVID-19 injured list. The Phillies recalled catcher Rafael Marchan, who is the club's No. 5-ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline, from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take his place on the roster.
“All his tests are fine,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. “He came down with a stomachache and a fever during the game last night, so he’s in COVID protocol. His tests have been negative. But when you get those symptoms, you’re in protocol. … You can’t let someone with a stomachache and a small fever walk around your clubhouse today. In a normal year, you wouldn’t worry about it, but you can’t do that now.”
Girardi said he isn’t sure when Realmuto will return.
Could it be a few days?
“It’s possible,” Girardi said. “He’ll be tested and tested and we’ll go from there.”
Realmuto will not fly with the team to Florida, where it will open a three-game series Friday night against the Blue Jays in Dunedin.
Realmuto bruised his left knee on Tuesday night, when a foul ball struck him. He could not play on Wednesday, but the Phillies said they had no plans to place him on the 10-day injured list.
Girardi said they hoped he could have played Thursday.
Also, shortstop Didi Gregorius’s right elbow remains sore after he left the game Wednesday. He is day to day.
Phillies to increase seating capacity
The Phillies announced that beginning May 21 through June 10, they will increase seating capacity at Citizens Bank Park from 11,000 to 16,000.
They will open to 100 percent capacity beginning June 12.
Face masks are still required because of city guidelines.