Phillies; Bryce Harper to return next week following successful rehab
August 24, 2022
On Tuesday, Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper started his minor-league rehab assignment impressively. In his first game with the Phillies’ Triple-A affiliate in Lehigh Valley, Harper succeed in launching a couple of home runs, one of them was on his first at-bat.
The seven-time All-Star is expected to play every day through Saturday. Moreover, it is reported that he could come back to the Phillies lineup as soon as next Monday, according to Phillies manager Rob Thomson on Monday.
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Looking at Harper’s case, position players are permitted to spend up to a maximum of 20 days while they are on a rehab assignment.
After San Diego Padres left-hander Blake Snell’s unexpected pitch fractured Harper’s thumb, the 29-year-old was not able to play in the major games since June 25.
In his 64 games, Harper hit .318/.385/.599 (170 OPS+) with 15 home runs and batted 48 runs. His contribution, approximately 2.5 Wins Above Replacement according to Baseball-Reference, paved the way for joining the All-Star Game.
Harper's return plan
If Harper is set to return on August 29, his return would be too soon for him by looking at the original timetable. The perfect return date would be on the next Thursday, September 1.
"When you say Sept. 1, I think that's a realistic goal," Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said last week. Dombrowski mentioned that Harper will return as the Phillies' designated hitter as well.
The Phillies, 67-55 on the season, joined 11 games on Tuesday during the National League East. Their wild-card spot has sent them to the playoffs. Currently, the Phillies score leads the Milwaukee Brewers by 11/2 games through the second NL wild-card seed. The closest team after the Brewers is the San Fransisco Giants with 6 ½ games back.
This week the Phillies have to play six more games against the Cincinnati Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Afterward, the Phillies are scheduled to head to the West Coast next week.
The Phillies' game against the Arizona Diamondbacks most likely will happen after Harper’s return. The two teams are reported to have a three-game and will be followed after another three games against the San Francisco Giants.
Seranthony Dominguez's return
Right-hander reliever Seranthony Dominguez may return not long after Harper, according to senior writer Matt Gelb.
Dominguez went to the injured list after he felt some tightness on his right tricep on August 21. He said that he was worried about the condition, however, he avoided the serious injury. He is currently on full rest as he deals with inflammation.
Fortunately, his MRI showed no structural damage to his right arm. As he mentioned that the pain was on the outside of the arm, precisely above the right elbow. The Phillies would have a serious problem if the pain was from inside.
Thomson said Dominguez could return soon, but he’s still hesitant. However, the reliever is eligible to return from the list on September 2, a day after Harper’s return.
"Just got to monitor his workload, which we've been trying to do all year and talking to him about all year long," Thomson said. "Just keep monitoring it."