During the media availability last month before the Home Run Derby, Phillies slugger Kyle Schwarber discussed the Phillies prospects for making a playoff push in the second half. One of the things he mentioned regarding the trade deadline was that they’d be getting some big pieces back that would feel like they added a lot via trade. The biggest would be 2021 NL MVP Bryce Harper.
Monday, Harper got the pins removed from his left thumb (according to mlb.com), which was fractured with a pitch on June 25. Harper will now pick up the pace in his rehab and it likely won’t be long before we see him on a minor-league rehab assignment.
Harper, 29, is hitting .318/.385/.599 (174 OPS+) with 21 doubles, 15 homers, 48 RBI, 49 runs, nine steals and 2.6 WAR in 64 games this season. He led the majors in doubles, slugging percentage and OPS last year while also clubbing 35 home runs.
Harper suffered an injury to the UCL in his right elbow early in the season and was relegated to designated hitter as a result, but he’s still one of the biggest difference-makers on offense in baseball.
The Phillies have used a group of players in the DH spot since the injury, but the biggest recipient of playing time has been rookie Darick Hall.
The Phillies have actually gone 17-12 since the injury and currently sit 55-47, which is good for the third NL wild card spot at present.