(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty)
PARIS — Bryce Harper, a big hitter for the Phillies, probably won’t play the outfield again this season.
After hurting his right throwing elbow on an outfield throw in April 2022, the two-time NL MVP spent most of last season as the Phillies’ designated hitter only. Harper had Tommy John surgery over the offseason. On May 2, he went back to being the DH. On July 21, he played first base for the first time.
Since then, manager Rob Thomson has switched Harper between first base and designated hitter (DH). This is probably how the rest of the season will go as well.
When asked on Saturday if Harper would play outfield again this season, Thomson said, “I don’t think so, not at this point, unless something changes.”
Seven-time Harper, an All-Star, has done well at first base. In nine games and 80 innings, he has made only one mistake. He made a great catch in his first game at Cleveland by diving into the camera well.
Thomson said, “He’s played very well.” “I’m thrilled and slightly surprised by how well he handles situations, fields ground balls, and works around the bases.
Harper played first base in the series’ first game against the Kansas City Royals on Friday night. For Saturday night’s game against the Royals, he was back at DH. Harper is in the middle of the fifth year of a 13-year, $330 million contract that he signed before the 2019 season. In 77 games, he has hit.290 with five home runs and 32 RBI.