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Phillies Nuggets with Tim Kelly

Phillies Nuggets: Harper, Kingery, Eflin and more


Bryce Harper is dealing with an elbow injury. (Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

Here’s a series of Philadelphia Phillies updates before they begin a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park against the San Diego Padres.

Bryce Harper Out Of The Lineup Again Tuesday

After receiving a PRP injection in his throwing elbow Sunday, Bryce Harper is out of the lineup for the second consecutive game Tuesday.

The reigning National League MVP acknowledged Tuesday afternoon that it’s probably too early too tell if the shot has improved the “small” tear in his right UCL, and that even if it ultimately is effective, it will be some time before he’s able to play in right field again.

But Harper remains hopeful that he’ll be able to return to the lineup as the DH either Wednesday or Thursday.

Harper told the media before Tuesday’s game, including Dan Gelston of The Associated Press:

“I think the biggest thing is I can hit as of right now, so we’re gonna take our time with it and make sure it heals properly and hopefully it takes. Like I said, we’re a little bit of ways away from being where I can be out in right field and throwing a baseball the right way — the way that I want to. It helps, like I said, that I can hit and we’ll just stick with that for now.”

For as eager as Harper is to get back into the field, the UCL injury that he’s dealing with hasn’t negatively affected him at the plate. Not even a little bit. Harper is slashing .396/.434/.917 with six home runs and 13 RBIs in the month of May, and he was named the NL Player of the Week Monday.

Zach Eflin Is Back

The Phillies activated Zach Eflin from the COVID-related injured list Tuesday, and he’ll get the ball to open the series against the Padres.

“Well, it’s good to have him back,” Joe Girardi said. “I mean obviously we’ll watch him a little closer today than we would have normally just because he hasn’t pitched in a while. He feels good, and he started to turn the corner like Wednesday, Thursday last week and he’s doing well.”

Eflin last pitched on May 1, allowing eight hits and five earned runs over 4 1/3 innings in a loss to the New York Mets.

On the season, Eflin is 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA, 2.89 FIP and 0.7 fWAR across 24 innings. The 28-year-old can become a free agent after the 2022 season.

Can Scott Kingery Revive His Career?

Former top prospect Scott Kingery was assigned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley Tuesday, as he works his way back from shoulder surgery that he underwent last July to repair a torn labrum.

Kingery is no longer on the 40-man roster, but given that he’s making $6 million in 2022 and is due $8 million in 2023, the Phillies will certainly keep tabs on the 28-year-old.

“Just to play,” Girardi said of what the plan is for Kingery at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. “Our plan was to put him at second base, try to let him play one position and just get going and feel good about himself. So that will be the plan.”

So Kingery won’t see time at shortstop, center field or left field while with the IronPigs?

“Well, look, he’s not under my jurisdiction. But we talked about trying to give him one position when we met in February about it.”

Kingery will hit fifth and play second base for Lehigh Valley Tuesday night, playing in a lineup that also includes Matt Vierling and Nick Maton. But as long as Jean Segura is healthy, it’s hard to imagine a path back to the majors for Kingery as a primary second baseman. Even if Segura were to spend time on the injured list at any point during the 2022 season, Johan Camargo, Bryson Stott and Maton are among those who would likely get at-bats at second base for the Phillies before Kingery.

Whether or not the Phillies did a disservice to Kingery by asking him to play multiple positions starting in 2018 isn’t especially relevant at this point. The only true path that he has back to the majors at this point is to heat up offensively and be able to play all over the field like Camargo.

Padres Lineup

  1. Jake Cronenworth, 2B
  2. Ha-seong Kim, SS
  3. Manny Machado, 3B
  4. Eric Hosmer, 1B
  5. Jurickson Profar, LF
  6. Wil Myers, RF
  7. Robinson Canó, DH
  8. Austin Nola, C
  9. Trent Grisham, CF

Phillies Lineup

  1. Rhys Hoskins, 1B
  2. Alec Bohm, 3B
  3. Kyle Schwarber, LF
  4. Nick Castellanos, DH
  5. Jean Segura, 2B
  6. Odúbel Herrera, CF
  7. J.T. Realmuto, C
  8. Bryson Stott, SS
  9. Roman Quinn, CF

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  3. Scott Kingery Assigned To Triple-A Lehigh Valley
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