The Philadelphia Phillies placed catcher J.T. Realmuto on the 10-day injured list on Friday because of a bruised bone in his left hand, according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com. In a corresponding move, the Phillies activated outfielder Matt Joyce. Joyce had missed more than two weeks because of a calf injury.
Realmuto, 30, has not appeared in a game since last Saturday. League rules allow teams to backdate IL stints by up to three days, meaning the Phillies will be without him for at least an additional week.
Realmuto had been off to another impressive start. In 130 plate appearances, he'd hit .294/.400/.486 (147 OPS+) with four home runs and three stolen bases. Realmuto, of course, signed a five-year contract worth $115.5 million to remain with the Phillies over the offseason.
Joyce received 38 plate appearances before being placed on the shelf himself. He hit .100/.289/.133 with no home runs and just one extra-base hit.
The Phillies also announced that right-hander Spencer Howard would start Saturday's game. Chase Anderson, the scheduled starter for that night, will instead be moved to the bullpen. Anderson compiled a 6.96 ERA (57 ERA+) and a 1.63 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 32 innings. Howard, for his part, will be making his fourth big-league appearance of the season. In three minor-league starts since, he posted a 1.00 ERA and punched out 13 of the 34 batters he faced.
The Phillies will begin a three-game set against the Boston Red Sox on Friday. Philadelphia enters with a 22-22 record that is good for second place in the National League East. The Phillies trail the New York Mets by one and a half games.