Joe Girardi Hints at Unique Role for J.T. Realmuto

Larry Rupp
Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi hinted at a unique role for catcher J.T. Realmuto.
Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi hinted at a unique role for catcher J.T. Realmuto. / Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto has been a staple in the middle of the lineup since joining the team back in 2019. A change may be on the way, though.

Manager Joe Girardi hinted to reporters that he may move the three-time All-Star to the leadoff spot permanently prior to Sunday's game.

Philadelphia Phillies News

Realmuto was the leadoff man on Saturday, but no one paid much attention to it given Kyle Schwarber's absence from the lineup. That changed on Sunday when Realmuto stayed batting first and Schwarber was slated to hit fifth. A catcher batting leadoff is about as rare as it gets in baseball.

In fact, the only catcher in MLB history to start at least 50 games in the leadoff spot in one season is Jason Kendall. The three-time all-Star accomplished the feat five times for the Pittsburgh Pirates. It's worth noting his career on-base percentage (.366) easily beats Realmuto's mark of .331.

Girardi has not been afraid to make risky moves during his coaching tenure with the Phillies and it's clear he wants to shake things up on offense. Philadelphia currently ranks 14th in the league averaging 4.33 runs per game despite the additions of Schwarber and Nick Castellanos to the roster.

Realmuto's tendency to strike out is much higher than a normal leadoff hitter, which will make this experiment one to keep an eye on in the coming weeks.

Philadelphia has odds set at +2200 to win the World Series, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.