J.T. Realmuto’s second chapter with the Philadelphia Phillies is off to a rocky start.
The star catcher broke the thumb on his throwing hand and is expected to miss about a month, manager Joe Girardi told reporters Thursday. The Phillies expect Realmuto to be ready for Opening Day, but he will miss a chunk of spring training.
Girardi said Realmuto suffered the injury during a bullpen session earlier this week, and his thumb will be immobilized for two weeks.
Realmuto, 29, received a five-year, $115.5 million contract from the Phillies this offseason. The $23.1 million average annual value in Realmuto’s deal is the highest for any catcher in Major League Baseball history.
Realmuto continues to be one of the best all-around catchers in the majors, hitting .266 with 11 homers and 32 RBIs with the Phillies during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. He did not accept an $18.9 million, one-year qualifying offer, instead seeking a longer-term deal on the free-agent market.
Since 2018, Realmuto leads all MLB catchers in WAR (10.1), RBIs (189) and stolen bases (16) and is second in slugging percentage (.489) and OPS (.825). His 57 home runs during that span rank third among MLB catchers.
Defensively, he has 11 runs saved over the past two seasons, which ranks fourth among catchers who have played more than 1,000 innings.
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