Joe Girardi provided an array of injury updates ahead of Friday’s game against the Yankees in Tampa. We’ll go player-by-player detailing everything we learned today:
J.T. Realmuto (fractured right thumb): The Phillies catcher had five to six plate appearances in a simulated game in Clearwater on Friday. He also threw up to 150 feet and ran the bases afterward. His thumb is healing well and there’s a possibility Realmuto could make his spring debut, most likely as a DH, next week.
Vince Velasquez (oblique): Girardi revealed Friday that Velasquez is dealing with an oblique injury. He threw from 60 feet today. The oblique began bothering him while he warmed up before his last simulated game. Interestingly enough, Girardi said that Velasquez is “a little bit behind” both Spencer Howard and Zach Eflin.
Adam Haseley (groin): Like Realmuto, Haseley participated in today’s simulated game. He had five to six at-bats and ran the bases. The 24-year-old could make it into a game next week, but Girardi stresses that Haseley is farther behind than Realmuto. The Phillies skipper has not completely ruled out Haseley being ready for Opening Day, but it’s, “way too early to judge that,” according to Girardi.
Zach Eflin and Spencer Howard (back): Both Howard and Eflin threw up to 120 feet on Friday and could throw a bullpen on Sunday. In Eflin’s case, Girardi feels very confident about the 26-year-old’s chances of making his first start of the season on April 4 if he can throw off the mound Sunday and pitch in a Grapefruit League game next week.
“He would have two more starts and I’d feel pretty good with where he’s at,” Girardi said when asked about Eflin.
Didi Gregorius (head): Gregorius could return to the Phillies lineup on Sunday. He’ll go through all non-game activities Friday, which include running, hitting, throwing and taking ground balls. The Phillies shortstop was in concussion protocol after getting hit in the back of the head in Wednesday’s game against Toronto. Concussion protocol is mandatory for all players who get hit in the head during a game. Gregorius will have to pass a few tests, but it seems as if there is not much concern on this front.
Brad Miller (oblique): The Phillies utility man took ground balls, did some dry swings and “threw longer distance.” The hope is that Miller could return to the lineup by the end of next week. Miller was scratched from the lineup on March 13 after feeling some discomfort in his oblique prior to a matchup against the Detroit Tigers in Clearwater.
Connor Brogdon (rib): Brogdon last appeared in a game last Sunday against Pittsburgh. He was taken out as a precautionary measure when his rib popped out of place. That sounds horrifying, but it happens quite a bit with him. He threw a bullpen Wednesday and could pitch again over the weekend.
Rafael Marchan (hamstring): Marchan also appeared in the aforementioned simulated game. He had a few at-bats, ran the bases and caught. This was his second simulated game in as many days. It appears the Phillies will avoid a worst-case scenario, meaning Andrew Knapp won’t be the only healthy catcher on the 40-man roster on Opening Day.
Ranger Suárez (quad): It’ll be awhile until Suárez is ready for game action. He threw a bullpen Friday and has to throw four or five more before he can throw a live BP. Suárez’s initial arrival in camp was delayed due to visa issues.
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