Bryce Harper will likely make his 2021 Grapefruit League debut Friday afternoon when the Philadelphia Phillies host the Pittsburgh Pirates, manager Joe Girardi said Thursday afternoon.
The expectation is that Harper – set for year three of a 13-year/$330 million deal – will DH on Friday.
During the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Harper slashed .268/.420/.542 with 13 home runs, 33 RBIs and a league-leading 49 walks. That said, the Phillies have paced him early in spring training after a back injury hampered him for at least half of last season. Harper is 100% currently, though he did admit earlier in spring training that he was unable to throw a baseball by the end of the 2020 season.
In addition to Harper, Girardi told Phillies Nation‘s Destiny Lugardo that nearly every relief pitcher that’s yet to throw this spring – Archie Bradley, Héctor Neris, Connor Brogdon, José Alvarado, JoJo Romero and Sam Coonrod – will pitch Friday. Offseason signee Chase Anderson is expected to start the game, with Spencer Howard also slated to pitch.
Friday’s game will begin at 1:05 p.m. ET and be televised on NBC Sports Philadelphia +.
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