Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper will undergo elbow surgery. His timeframe for return is currently undecided. Harper injured his elbow on a throw in April. He missed about a month. When he came back into the lineup he could only DH. The former MVP was able to continue hitting at a high level even with his throwing arm damaged. Harper was playing well until he broke his thumb in June against the Padres. This injury prevented him from hitting and took him out of the lineup completely.
Harper ended up coming back into the lineup at the end of August. They went on a tear and the Phillies went all the way to the World Series. He even got revenge against San Diego. His thumb healed, and he was able to hit. However, his elbow kept him in the DH spot because he could not throw.
Harper has only played in over one hundred twenty games in six of his ten seasons not counting 2021. The COVID-shortened season was only 60 games. It might appear Harper has been healthier in Philly than his time in Washington but he has played in eighty-three percent of games in Philly compared to eighty-two percent in Washington. Last year he played 141 games on his way to the second MVP season of his career.
With eight years left on his contract and coming off of a severe injury to his throwing arm, the Phillies and Bryce Harper will have to manage his health. With Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos having three and four years remaining on their contracts, there is a log jam at the corner outfield position. Harper having undergone surgery should be back in time for most of the season. But, if Harper’s defense declines they will have three outfielders that are plus hitters and average fielders. With only one DH position how these three are juggled will be critical to the Phillies’ success.
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