Philadelphia Phillies slugger and reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper suffered a broken left thumb Saturday night against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park (GameTracker). Harper took a 97 mph Blake Snell fastball to the hand and was out of the game immediately. The Phillies announced the fracture shortly afterward and say Harper will undergo additional tests in the coming days. They did not give a timetable for his recovery from him.
Snell admitted to texting Harper to the media. Snell admitted, “Obviously, I felt bad hitting him. “He understands that I don’t do that. Having spoken, We managed it. I can see why he would be unhappy because of the passion with which he plays. He and I both feel angry. … I simply hope that he gets well quickly so that he may resume competing.
Bryce Harper injury update: He will be put on the injured list on Sunday
In 64 games this season, Harper has hit.318 with 15 home runs, 48 RBI, and a.985 OPS. He will be put on the injured list on Sunday. He hasn’t played in the outfield since April 16 due to a tiny tear in his right elbow’s ulnar collateral ligament and had hoped that a platelet-rich plasma injection and some rest would allow him to play again without needing Tommy John surgery to terminate the season.
Here is a video of the errant launch. Snell apologized and, though, in obvious pain and understandably upset, Harper appeared to tell Snell that she knew she did not intentionally hit him as he walked off the field.
He immediately and visibly began to hurt himself, dropping to his knees and cradling his hand as Phillies trainer Paul Buchheit entered the field. The fracture was not immediately known, and Phillies general manager Dave Dombrowski, who was traveling with the team, said it was not apparent if surgery would be required.
Harper was hit in the face by a fastball from Genesis Cabrera of the St. Louis Cardinals last season, but that injury was definitely not the same as this one, which forced Harper to miss only a few games.
I sort of wished it had struck me in the face. I don’t break bones in my face,” laughed Harper. “I can take a 98 mph pitch to the face, but not a 97 mph pitch to the thumb,” the athlete said. To get my hand up there and prevent it from hitting me again, I was sort of in protection mode.
Just a bummer, I guess. I’m pretty upset about this.
Harper has been limited to DH duty most of the season with an elbow ligament injury. Nonetheless, he was having a fantastic season and entered Saturday’s game batting .320/.385/.602 with 21 doubles and 15 home runs. He ranks seventh in baseball in extra-base hits (37) and eighth in total bases (145). Simply put, Harper is irreplaceable.
Phillies team trying to climb the postseason ranks:
Meanwhile, the Phillies believe either Kyle Schwarber or Nick Castellanos will share designated hitter duty with the more defensively competent Matt Vierling, who will see more stable playing time in the outfield. Mickey Moniak, the No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft, is hitting .279/.326/.558 at Triple-A and could take a look at him. Of course, the Phillies could trade depending on the length of Harper’s recovery.
Needless to say, losing Harper for an extended period of time is a devastating blow to a Phillies team trying to climb the postseason ranks. They are 15-6 since replacing manager Joe Girardi with bench coach Rob Thomson earlier this month. Among National League teams, only the Atlanta Braves (18-4) have a better record in the league during that time.
Even with the post-Girardi hot streak, the Phillies entered Saturday three games behind the third and final wild card. FanGraphs puts his postseason odds at 29.7 percent. The Phillies haven’t been to the postseason since 2011 and have the longest postseason drought in the National League.
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