Notes: Realmuto, Howard, Alvarado, Didi
PHILADELPHIA -- J.T. Realmuto turned his left hand to reveal the bone bruise at the base of his palm, which sits opposite the thumb.
The injury has kept him from the Phillies' lineup since Saturday. The hand remains visibly swollen, but Realmuto said Wednesday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park that a trip to the 10-day injured list is not in the plans.
“We didn’t think it was necessary because of how rapidly it was feeling better,” he said. “It was definitely something we were talking about the last two days, but we made the decision on Monday that it was close enough to being ready that I didn’t need to go on IL.”
Realmuto recently had an MRI exam on the hand. It revealed no structural damage.
“It happened like three weeks ago in St. Louis,” he said. “I was able to play through it for a couple of weeks and then for whatever reason, when that COVID thing happened [last week] and I had to stay home for a few days, it really stiffened up on me. And when I came back [last weekend] against Toronto, it felt quite a bit worse than it did 10 days prior. So I just needed to shut it down for a few days.”
Some fluid in the hand remains, which Realmuto is treating.
“It feels a lot better today than it did in Dunedin, which is a good sign, so we should be on the right track,” he said.
Phillies manager Joe Girardi said he hoped Realmuto might be available to play Wednesday, but it sounded like Realmuto is not ready to take a full swing in a game yet. Girardi is hoping that Realmuto could return to action Thursday or Friday.
When will Spencer get here?
Top prospect Spencer Howard has struck out 13 and allowed one run in nine innings in three starts with Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
MLB Pipeline's No. 32-ranked prospect is on a strict innings limit this season, so the more innings he pitches with the IronPigs, the fewer he can pitch with the Phillies. At some point, if Howard is pitching well, it might make sense to promote him and use those innings where they can be the most beneficial. At the very least, he could piggyback right-hander Chase Anderson’s starts.
“It comes down to us feeling good about where he's at,” Girardi said. “Stats are one thing, right? Using your pitches and executing all your pitches is another. There's a difference between Triple-A and the big leagues, so a lot of times you want to see them executing everything and then you make those evaluations after each start and you go from there.”
So Howard still needs some refinement with his pitches?
“Well, no, I mean, he looked really good his last start,” Girardi said. “I'm not going to lie to you. I saw it. But those are people that are evaluating that stuff, not necessarily me as much as front office and pitching coaches and pitching coordinators where he's at.”
Where is Alvarado’s ball going?
José Alvarado routinely throws 100 mph sinkers, but oftentimes nobody knows where they are going.
He has struck out 21 and walked 12 in 13 1/3 innings this season. In his last eight appearances, he has walked 10 and struck out nine in 6 1/3 innings.
“He just seems to be a little off,” Girardi said. “We'll get him back on track. I don't worry too much about Alvy because he also has the ability to strike people out and get ground balls. You don't see a lot of balls hit in the air.”
• Didi Gregorius is on the 10-day injured list with inflammation in his right elbow. He fielded ground balls before the game, but he did not throw the ball.
• Girardi started Ronald Torreyes over Nick Maton at shortstop against Marlins left-hander Trevor Rogers, even though Maton has been hitting the ball well and has better splits against lefties (.406/.406/.656) than righties (.255/.296/.333).
“Rogers is really tough on left-handers,” Girardi said “I'm going to play Toe, you know? We're in a 10-game stretch. Probably move him around a little bit. I don't want him to sit too long like he did the last time because of the way the schedule worked out. It just gives Mates a day.”