10:32 pm: The Phillies sent Harper to a hospital for evaluation, manager Joe Girardi told reporters (including Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch). Fortunately, Harper himself offered a positive update on Instagram, noting he “feels good,” that tests “came back good,” and he’ll “see (the fans) soon.”
8:59 pm: In a scary development, Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper left thi”s evening’s game against the Cardinals after he was struck in the face by a 97 MPH fastball from St. Louis reliever Génesis Cabrera (via Matt Gelb of the Athletic). Harper was bleeding but left the field under his own power and was replaced on the bases by Matt Joyce.
It’s obviously far too early to know if Harper will be forced to miss any time. The 28-year-old is off to an incredible start to the season, mashing at a .321/.448/.615 clip with six home runs over his first 96 plate appearances. The left-handed hitting slugger entered today’s game with a 190 wRC+ that ranked eighth among qualifiers.
Brad Miller and Joyce would seemingly be the likeliest candidates to pick up starts in right field if Harper winds up needing some time off. Both have been productive offensive players within the past couple seasons and Miller, in particular, is off to a strong start at the dish this year.