The Phillies announced that J.T. Realmuto will miss about a month after being placed on the 10-day IL on Tuesday.
The Phillies’ backstop underwent successful surgery on his right knee on Wednesday.

This is a big blow for the top team in the National League, which will be without what many consider to be the best catcher in baseball for an extended period.

To say that Realmuto’s presence will be missed is an understatement. The 33-year-old was off to another solid start, slashing .261/.309/.411 with seven home runs through 51 games.

Realmuto is one of the game’s best catchers defensively, and most of the Phillies’ pitchers feel comfortable and work well with him.

The Phillies have been successfully using the next-man-up mentality, as we saw when both Trea Turner and Brandon Marsh went down with injuries. Their replacements filled in and have been producing without seeming to miss a beat.

Backup catcher Garrett Stubbs and Rafael Marchán, who was called up from Triple-A, will split the work while Realmuto is out. Stubbs is no Realmuto, but he has played in 20 games this season and has familiarity with the pitching staff. Marchán appeared in 23 games with the Phillies between the 2020-21 seasons before getting the start against the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night.

The rest of the Phillies’ lineup is going to have to pick up for the lost production in Realmuto’s absence. This shouldn’t be too difficult considering the firepower in the Phillies’ lineup that might just get even better with a possible Turner return in the near future.

The Phillies are 25 games over .500 and sit atop the NL East with a 10-game lead over the Atlanta Braves. Even if the club struggles some while Realmuto is out, Rob Thomson’s team should still be in a good position by the time he returns.

Regardless, the star backstop will be missed over the next month.

“It’s a big blow, that’s for sure,” Zack Wheeler said about Realmuto’s injury after a 4-1 victory over the Red Sox on Tuesday night, per’s Paul Casella.

The Phillies could go out and bring in a catcher through a trade or free agency, but that seems unlikely given the team’s position in the standings and the time frame that he’ll be out.

Stubbs and Marchán have big shoes to fill for the foreseeable future, but the Phillies should be able to survive life without Realmuto.

PHOTO: ClutchPoints

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