After being hit in the right hand with a Steven Matz pitch on Friday, Bryce Harper sat out the Phillies’ 5-0 win over the Mets today and could also miss Sunday’s game. X-rays were negative on the injury and Harper told the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Matt Breen and other reporters that he would “be fine,” though he was frustrating at having to miss any time at all during the pennant race. “Really tough to take a day [off], but I need to do what I need to do,” Harper off. The Phils’ victory moved them three games behind the Cubs for the last NL wild card berth, and in the midst of such a tight race, certainly can’t afford to miss one of their top players.
While Harper hasn’t quite posted the type of superstar-level numbers you might expect after signing his much-ballyhooed 13-year, $330MM contract last offseason, he has been a thoroughly productive player in his first Phillies season, hitting .254/.372/.497 with 30 homers over an even 600 plate appearances while also contributing strong defense.
More on some key players who may or may not be close to returning to action…
- George Springer also didn’t factor into today’s play, though Astros manager A.J. Hinch told reporters (including the Houston Chronicle’s Chandler Rome) that the outfielder was available off the bench in Houston’s 2-1 win over Seattle, and would hopefully be back in the lineup on Sunday. Springer suffered a minor concussion after an ugly-looking collision with the outfielder wall on Tuesday, which resulted in the Astros star being carted off the field. Fortunately, the injury was less serious than it appeared, and Springer is set to resume what has been another All-Star season.
- Kurt Suzuki will see a doctor after suffering a potential right elbow injury in tonight’s game, Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post tweets. The Nationals catcher felt pain after making a throw to second base in the seventh inning, and was replaced by a pinch-hitter in the top of the eighth. Suzuki has hit .260/.319/.473 with 16 homers over 301 plate appearances in his first season as a National, splitting time with (and providing much more offense than) Yan Gomes. Rookie backstop Raudy Read is the only other catcher on Washington’s 40-man roster if Suzuki has to miss any time.
- Athletics outfielder Stephen Piscotty told Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle that he is close to beginning pool therapy on his injured right ankle, and will then further test the injury before determining any next steps. Piscotty believes he can return before the end of the season, which is perhaps not as positive a development as it seems since there hadn’t really been any thought that Piscotty’s high ankle sprain could cost him the remainder of the 2019 campaign. After hitting the IL on August 25, the outfielder is still wearing a walking boot.