Phillies’ J.T. Realmuto on COVID-19 IL, not positive for virus

MLB’s rough week as it pertains to COVID-19 continues. 

The Philadelphia Phillies added catcher J.T. Realmuto to the coronavirus-related injured list ahead of the Thursday afternoon game against the Washington Nationals after the two-time All-Star displayed symptoms. However, manager Joe Girardi told reporters that Realmuto has not yet tested positive for the virus. 

“All his tests are fine,” Girardi explained, per Todd Zolecki of the MLB website. “He came down with a stomachache and a fever during the game last night, so he’s in COVID protocol. His tests have been negative. But when you get those symptoms, you’re in protocol. … You can’t let someone with a stomachache and a small fever walk around your clubhouse today. In a normal year, you wouldn’t worry about it, but you can’t do that now.”

Girardi added it’s “possible” Realmuto could return to the active roster in a few days depending on additional testing, but the catcher is not expected to fly with the club for Friday’s series opener against the Toronto Blue Jays in Florida. 

In a corresponding roster move, the Phillies recalled catcher Rafael Marchan from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Realmuto missed Wednesday’s game at Washington with a bruised left knee but wasn’t heading to the 10-day IL before Thursday’s development. The 30-year-old is hitting .314 with four home runs and 16 RBI across 33 games this season. 

Elsewhere around MLB, at least seven members of the New York Yankees’ traveling party have recently tested positive for COVID-19 even though all of them have been vaccinated. Meanwhile, the San Diego Padres are set to be without star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. and right fielder Wil Myers for over a week after they tested positive for the coronavirus. Three other San Diego players are in the health and safety protocols following contact tracing. 

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