Phillies’ Bryce Harper Resumes Throwing, Hopes to Play RF This Season After Injury
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After having pins removed from his thumb in recent days, Philadelphia Phillies star Bryce Harper has started a throwing program, according to Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
As a result, he may be putting himself in position to return to right field at some point this season.
“Hopefully I’ll be in right field by the end of the year, playing out there and being successful throwing a baseball,” Harper said last week, per Lauber. “We’ll [try] throwing when I get back.”
Harper has been out of the lineup after suffering a fractured left thumb during his team’s 4-2 win over the San Diego Padres on June 25. Padres pitcher Blake Snell hit Harper with a 97 mph fastball in the fourth inning.
Harper had already been playing through a small UCL tear in his right elbow that limited him to designated hitter duties.
He underwent successful thumb surgery June 29, and the pins were removed from the thumb Aug. 1. That allowed him to “ramp up his rehab” as he looked to return to the field, per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki.
The seven-time All-Star and two-time National League MVP was hitting .318 with 15 home runs, 48 RBI and a .984 OPS before the injury.
Without Harper, the Phillies have given Matt Vierling and Darick Hall more time at DH and in the outfield. Offseason acquisitions Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos have already been mainstays in the outfield all season.
The Phils have managed to stay in the playoff race despite missing Harper. They currently sit 55-48, putting them in a tie for the second Wild Card spot and 4.5 games up on the San Francisco Giants, who are on the outside looking in.
Still, adding Harper back would be a massive boost to this lineup as Philly looks to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
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