Phillies slugger and reigning National League MVP Bryce Harper has been diagnosed with a small tear in his right UCL, manager Joe Girardi announced on Thursday. Here are further details from Alex Coffey of the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Those throwing limitations will of course keep Harper from manning his usual position of right field, but Coffey later tweeted that Harper should be able to continue hitting and serving as the team’s regular DH after he takes a couple of days to recover from a PRP injection in his injured elbow that he’ll receive on Sunday.
The silver lining for Harper and the Phillies is that he’s still be quite productive at the plate despite the injury. In 31 games this season, Harper has batted .269/.326/.521, which is good for an OPS+ of 142, with six home runs and 10 doubles.
He has not played the field since April 16, so any DH adjustment period is behind him. However, Harper’s injury and DH status means that the Phillies will be forced to continue playing both Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos at the outfield corners, which is not a defensively optimal arrangement to say the least.
Harper and the Phillies enter their four-game road series against the mighty Dodgers with a 14-17 record and tied for third place in the NL East.