The Philadelphia Phillies’ DH role figured to be somewhat of a revolving door throughout the 2022 season, but that position will remain relatively consistent for at least the next several games.
An MRI on Bryce Harper’s right elbow has revealed a mild strain, NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury reported on Friday. Harper won’t throw again until Tuesday, but because the injury doesn’t affect him at the plate, he’ll slot in as the DH for the time being.
Though Harper occupying the DH spot for more than a day or two at a time might not be ideal given the sheer number of Phillies who seem like natural fits for that role, the team can nonetheless be thankful it’s an option at all. If it wasn’t, Salisbury noted, Harper would find himself on the injured list instead of in the starting lineup. He’s been the DH each of the Phillies’ past four games, last playing in the field on Saturday in Miami.
It’s worth noting that Harper has battled the occasional nagging injury throughout his career, most notably to his back. He’s generally been able to avoid long IL stints, however, and the hope with the elbow strain is — and probably should be, until there’s reason to believe otherwise — that this time around will be the same.
Harper is off to a somewhat uncharacteristically pedestrian start to the season, hitting .220 with a .730 OPS. However, since first occupying the DH spot on Sunday, he’s 6-for-18 with a double and a homer.
Whether that’s causative or merely correlative is obviously unclear, but at the very least, it’s further evidence that Harper’s elbow is only causing him issues in the field. As such, Harper is slotted into his typical No. 3 spot in the lineup for Friday’s series opener against the Milwaukee Brewers.
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