Realmuto, 27, began the season on the disabled list due to a bone bruise in his back he suffered in mid-march during a Grapefruit League game against… the Yankees.
Realmuto ranked among the game’s most productive catchers last year, accruing 3.6 Wins Above Replacement (per Baseball Reference), largely due to a solid .278/.332/.451 line with 17 home runs and 65 RBI in 579 plate appearances.
Chad Wallach and Bryan Holaday had been handling catching duties while Realmuto was out. The two — plus Tomas Telis, who had five plate appearances as a catcher — combined to hit .169/.246/.203. Wallach was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans to create roster space for Realmuto.