Knapp is out of the lineup for Sunday's game against the Royals, Lynn Worthy of The Kansas City Star reports. Knapp drew the start in Saturday's 7-0 win in place of a resting J.T. Realmuto, finishing the day 0-for-2 with a pair of walks and a run. It was only the sixth start of the season for Knapp, who continues to handle one of the lightest workloads among all backup catchers in the majors.
Knapp is out of the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Mets. Even with the Phillies playing a day game after a night game, manager Gabe Kapler won't steer away from J.T. Realmuto as the team's catcher. With the Phillies racing out to a 10-0 first-inning lead in an eventual 14-3 win Tuesday, Realmuto was able to check out of the game early, allowing Knapp to pick up three at-bats off the bench. He recorded a double in one of those trips to the plate, giving him his second hit of the season.
Knapp is hitting .323/.382/.516 in 11 spring games. Knapp spent some time in the minors last season after Wilson Ramos was brought in from Tampa Bay, but he looks set to back up J.T. Realmuto this season with a relatively secure roster spot. His primary competition, Drew Butera, doesn't have a 40-man roster spot and fits better as an organizational depth option.
Manager Gabe Kapler said Monday that Knapp is in the "driver's seat" for the Phillies' backup catcher spot, Matt Breen of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Knapp's contributions on offense or defense over parts of two seasons in the big leagues haven't been overly impressive, but he's at least shown the ability to take walks at a prodigious clip (13.1 percent). While that may be enough to give him the edge over non-roster invitee Drew Butera for the No. 2 gig, Knapp shouldn't expect to play more than once or twice a week after the Phillies acquired one of the top backstops in baseball this offseason in J.T. Realmuto.
Knapp was called up by the Phillies on Friday. Knapp's .216/.308/.352 season slash line is not terrible for a backup catcher, but it's hardly enough to make him much of a fantasy asset. He did show some improvements at the plate as the season went on, but with Wilson Ramos now in town in addition to Jorge Alfaro, Knapp's at-bats are likely to be very limited.
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