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Bryce Harper injured his UCL, won’t throw for four weeks

Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper’s elbow injury, which has kept him out of the lineup since mid-April, has been confirmed as a ‘small rupture’ in his UCL, according to Alex Coffey of the Philadelphia Enquirer.

While the reigning National League MVP can still swing the bat, he’ll be out of the Phillies lineup on Sunday and probably until early next week due to a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection.

Harper met Dr. Neal S. ElAttrache on Thursday, who verified the Phillies’ worries of a minor tear. After having a PRP injection on Sunday, Harper will remain the Phillies’ designated hitter in the meantime.

“I miss playing,” said Harper, who has only played right field in eight of the 31 games he has played this season. “I miss being out there with my team and playing on the field. It’s been tough. I want to get back out there. I want to help this team on both sides of the ball. I miss playing right (field).”

The injection itself might keep Harper out of the lineup on Sunday and possibly Tuesday, allowing him to return to the lineup on Wednesday against the San Diego Padres.

“He’ll stay in our lineup Wednesday, Thursday and Friday,” said Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi.

Phillies without Harper

Harper, who was signed to a 13-year, $330 million contract by the Phillies ahead of the 2019 season, has essentially lived up to his price, collecting a.280/.396/.553 triple-slash — good for a 145 wRC+ — in the first three-plus seasons of the agreement.

In 2021, he topped the leagues in both slugging percentage and OPS with a.309/.429/.615 hitting line (a 170 wRC+, also highest in the majors), on his way to his second NL MVP.

Girardi’s team cannot afford to be without Harper for long. Of course, it’s still early, but the Phillies are already seven games down in the NL East. They may have had some bad luck already this season.

Despite a run differential of plus-ten, the Phillies are three games under.500 as of Thursday, even though not the offense (with a combined wRC+ of 106) nor the pitching staff (with an xFIP of.365, seventh in the majors) is underperformed.

The Phillies is also already taking huge risks after acquiring both right fielder Nick Castellanos (on a five-year, $100 million contract) and outfielder Kyle Schwarber (four years, $79 million) in the winter.

While both have shown considerable power at the plate (Castellanos more so, with a 147 wRC+ to Schwarber’s 99), they’re both liability on defense, which is exacerbated when they share an outfield.

Harper has been rated as an average right fielder (his 9.9 career UZR suggests he’s saved roughly ten runs over his eleven-year career), but his substitute with either Castellanos or Schwarber makes a huge downgrade.

And with the New York Mets and the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves being in the same division, Girardi will need to set the team now rather than later if his club wants to keep more than a sliver of hope for a division victory afloat.

Bryce Harper

Bryce Aron Max Harper is an American professional baseball right fielder for the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball . (wikipedia)

Philadelphia Phillies

The Philadelphia Phillies are an American professional baseball team based in Philadelphia. They compete in Major League Baseball as a member of the National League East division. Since 2004, (wikipedia)

Harry James' love for sports began in his high school basketball days. Sadly, an injury meant he couldn't further his NBA dreams, but the hooper's loss is our gain as he then found journalism.

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