Check those passports and hope the flights aren’t canceled, boys. The Philadelphia Phillies are heading North.
Thankfully, the Phightins are merely dipping their toes in the crystal clear Canadian water because their first trip out of the country in 2022 and Rob Thompson’s triumphant return to Beyond the Wall will feature a handicapped roster.
These Phillies are unvaccinated and will not be making the trip to Toronto for the 2 games against the Blue Jays,
according to Dave Dombrowski with @JSalisburyNBCS
Kyle Gibson pic.twitter.com/txRYawFTQZ
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) July 11, 2022
Aaron Nola, Kyle Gibson, the injured Alec Bohm, and, most notably, J.T. Realmuto will all remain in Philadelphia due to their lack of the COVID-19 vaccination.
If you thought injuries and youth were already giving this roster fits, you’d love this Canadian iteration of the Phillies – a lineup held together by bubble gum and rubber bands.
This is one lineup the Phillies could throw out there tonight. Thoughts?
— Tommy Orme (@t_orm3) July 12, 2022
Corresponding moves make the Phillies roster groove
Without Realmuto, Phillies fans will get their first look at Rafael Marchán in 2022, the Phillies’ former seventh overall prospect. That’s something we can all get excited about – the youth.
Marchán might be the only addition you notice because although the Phillies have one more move they could make before tonight’s first pitch, they don’t have many options.
Johan Camargo and Nick Maton remain on the 10-Day-IL, both of whom would have been no-brainers following the injury to Bohm. The Phillies may rely on a combination of Matt Vierling and Yairo Muñoz to fill the gaps on the infield.
Nola’s spot is locked in. Because he pitched yesterday, the Phillies cannot fill his spot with another arm from Lehigh. Unfortunate but not as costly as the absence of Realmuto and Bohm.
I don’t think J.T. did the math on this one, so let’s put away the pitchforks.
We can discuss P.R. strategy or lack thereof, but J.T. Realmuto wasn’t shy about his lack of vaccination and reasons for staying home in Philadephia.
J.T. Realmuto said he consulted with doctors he knew and decided he did not need a COVID vaccine. He will forfeit close to $260,000. "I'm not going to let Canada tell me what I do and don't put in my body for a little bit of money," Realmuto said. "It's just not worth it."
— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) July 12, 2022
These comments have jumpstarted a breeding ground for all the internet’s lowest-hanging fruit memes, but if you’re still mad next week, let’s talk.
Here’s the full clip for anyone telling Realmuto to go f*ck himself just because you saw a John Clark pull quote on Twitter:
Phillies catcher JT Realmuto on not being vaccinated and forfeiting nearly $262,000 since he can’t play in Toronto
“I'm not going to let Canada tell me what I do and don't put in my body for a little bit of money. It's just not worth it to me.”pic.twitter.com/RES0oGLTTl
— Jeff Skversky (@JeffSkversky) July 12, 2022
With Bailey Falter optioned this week and Gibson off the table, Andrew Bellatti will start tonight’s series premiere in Toronto. Another bullpen game and more proof the Phillies can’t wait any longer to make a move for a move to bolster their starting pitcher (how about Martín Pérez via way of Texas?).
Bellatti will then give way to the ever-consistent Zack Wheeler in Game 2. Fresh off his All-Star snub, the former New York Met found that a 2.46 ERA isn’t good enough for Hollywood.
I don’t mean to ignore Toronto, but they’re keeping their cards closer than Matt Damon. You’ll know who’s pitching in this series for the Blue Jays as soon as I do.
Phillies Daily Fantasy Pick of the Day
Vierling has been noted for his impressive fielding, but he’s not shy with his bat either. The last month has netted Vierling an OPS around roughly .800. That’s more production the Phillies have had in centerfield in years, even if Vierling will likely occupy the hot corner for this two-game swing.
He’s $2,200 on FanDuel, and there’s value.
Phillies v. Blue Jays Betting Information
The Phillies head into game one of this series as +165 underdogs to Toronto’s heavy favorite line of -195. The over/under is set at 9.5 for what may turn out to be a high-scoring game one of two with a bullpen game for the Phillies and Jose Berrios (5.44 ERA) on the mound. If you’d like to bet on this game, or any upcoming games this season, make sure to use our offer below!
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Photo Credit: AP Photo/Matt Slocum