The Philadelphia Phillies will be without four players, including catcher J.T. Realmuto, when they visit the Toronto Blue Jays for a two-game set that opens Tuesday night.
Third baseman Alec Bohm and pitchers Aaron Nola and Kyle Gibson also will be placed on the restricted list for the series because they do not meet Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine requirements.
Realmuto and Bohm will be replaced on the roster because they are position players. Catcher Rafael Marchan will be recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
“I wish it didn’t have to be like that, but I’ve got all the confidence in those guys to go out there in Toronto and go win a couple games,” Bohm said. “We’ve won games that I haven’t played in before. It is what it is. It’s out of my control. It’s a personal deal. I made a choice, and there’s consequences that come with that.”
Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said, “You can’t mandate they get vaxxed.”
Nola started Philadelphia’s 6-1 loss to the host St. Louis Cardinals on Monday and cannot be replaced on the roster. Gibson last pitched on Saturday, so Philadelphia can call up a replacement on Wednesday.
After winning the first two games of the four-game wraparound weekend series, Philadelphia settled for a split in St. Louis.
Vaccine status aside, Bohm might not have been able to play Tuesday anyway. He dislocated his left ring finger when he thrown out trying for a double in the second inning on Monday, and he was replaced by Yairo Munoz. The finger was popped into place, and Bohm will be able to play later this week if he can handle the discomfort.
The Toronto series will be a homecoming for Phillies interim manager Rob Thomson, who was born in Sarnia, Ontario. Philadelphia is 24-12 since he took over from Joe Girardi on June 3.
Toronto finished a 1-6 road trip with a 6-5 loss on Sunday at Seattle as the Mariners completed a four-game sweep.
“This whole road trip, man, it’s just like it’s been a little bit of Murphy’s Law, right?” Blue Jays reliever David Phelps said. “If something can go wrong, it will. The good thing is, we’ve got a lot of season left. It’s about time for an off day, regroup a little bit and get ready to go.”
Phelps was pitching in Seattle’s two-run fifth inning Sunday when the ball burst through the webbing of first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s glove, preventing a double play that would have ended the inning with no runs.
In the eighth, Toronto catcher Gabriel Moreno dropped a popup in fair territory that put a runner on ahead of Carlos Santana’s game-winning home run.
“We battled, we scored runs,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said after the game. “We did everything right. This road trip doesn’t show it, but we didn’t play bad. We played good. Just, I mean, that tough break today, of course, and extra innings (on Friday). We’ve been in every game. We just need that break to go our way.”
The Phillies will have a bullpen game Tuesday opened by right-hander Andrew Bellatti (1-3, 3.14 ERA), who has no wins or losses to go with a 13.50 ERA in three career relief outings against Toronto.
The Blue Jays had not named a starter, pending the availability of right-hander Kevin Gausman (bruised ankle). Gausman (6-6, 2.86 ERA) is 1-3 with a 5.22 ERA in six career outings (five starts) against Philadelphia.
–Field Level Media