Latest updates on Harper, Realmuto, Howard and more

Bryce Harper will be in the starting lineup when the Phillies take on the Nationals in D.C. on Monday night.

He left yesterday’s game with lower back stiffness after striking out to end the seventh inning. After some treatment, Harper is feeling better. He will bat second and DH.

Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto are both dealing with nagging injuries. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

J.T. Realmuto is ramping up his activity in preparation for returning. Joe Girardi hopes Realmuto could start one of the games in the doubleheader Tuesday. He has not played since Sept. 12 after feeling pain in his upper quad after running the bases. Realmuto’s injury never landed him on the IL.

Per Jim Salibury of NBC Sports Philadelphia, Realmuto might be able to pinch-hit in Monday’s game if need be.

RHP Spencer Howard could return from the injured list during the weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays. He is eligible to return from the injured list as early as Wednesday, but Girardi said that won’t happen as he’ll need to either throw an additional bullpen session or face hitters. Howard is scheduled to throw a bullpen before Monday’s opener against the Nationals.

General manager Matt Klentak said Monday “The hope is that both [Arrieta] and [Howard] could and should be back for [the postseason].” Klentak also said that Howard is a candidate for the first-round playoff roster and would likely pitch out of the bullpen if he’s healthy for round one.

Right-handed reliever Heath Hembree was placed on the 10-day IL on Monday with a right elbow strain. He will not throw for another five days. Hembree suffered a similar injury last season in Boston.

To replace Hembree on the active roster, the Phillies recalled outfielder Mickey Moniak. RHP Ramón Rosso takes Adonis Medina’s spot on the roster. Medina was sent back to Lehigh Valley after his start on Sunday.


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