When the Phillies open up the second half of the regular season tonight at Citizens Bank Park against the red-hot Nationals, they will do so without National League All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto, who was placed on the paternity list earlier today.
J.T. Realmuto is on the paternity list after his wife gave birth yesterday. The Phillies added veteran catcher Rob Brantly from triple A.
— Matt Breen (@matt_breen) July 12, 2019
It’s unknown how much time Realmuto, who is currently hitting .273 with a .767 OPS, will miss. Major League Baseball grants a player to miss up to three games when placed on the paternity list, so it’s possible that Realmuto may not play this weekend, but he is eligible to return as early as tomorrow.
Realmuto was the only Phillie to spend his All-Star break actually working, so it’s obviously understandable that he needs to take some time. Obviously.
It's like I told my wife when my son was born. "Hey, I've got softball tonight, I'm going to run ok? This is a big game, you get it."
— CogginToboggan (@CogginToboggan) July 12, 2019
He’s just kidding – at least I’m pretty sure he’s just kidding.
Anyway, backup catcher Andrew Knapp, who is hitting only .152 with a .518 OPS this season, will start tonight and bat eighth. He’s 1 for 3 with a double and a walk lifetime against Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg.
Tonight will also mark the first time this season that Phillies starter Nick Pivetta will throw to Knapp. Pivetta’s 4.81 ERA in 24 games with Knapp behind the plate, while not great, is by far his best catcher split. The full list includes: Cameron Rupp (6.23 ERA), Jorge Alfaro (5.53 ERA), Wilson Ramos (5.27 ERA), and Realmuto (5.84 ERA). So there’s that…I guess.
You can see Realmuto’s latest Instagram post, which introduces his newest child, after the jump.