With the second wild card spot in the National League, the Phillies have been without their best hitter since the end of June, when Harper broke his thumb.
Harper started a rehab stint at Triple-A Lehigh Valley Tuesday, and one could say it started out well.In the first at-bat of his stint, the lefty bombed a pitch high in the zone from Gwinnett Stripers southpaw Jared Shuster over the right field wall and then some.
— MLB (@MLB) August 23, 2022
When is Bryce Harper returning from injury?According to manager Rob Thomson, this rehab stint should be aggressive for Harper.
Harper is expected to play in every game through Saturday, and the Phillies are optimistically hoping for him to return Monday.
Harper returning would be outstanding news for the Phillies, who are going to need him for a September push. Since Joe Girardi was fired June 3, the Phillies have posted a 44-26 record with Thomson at the helm.
Harper was in his usual form before the injury, hitting .318/.385/.599 with 15 home runs in what was then a frustrating start to the season for the Phillies.
The Phillies are still well behind the Mets in the NL East and they were eight games back of the Braves entering Tuesday’s games for the top wild card spot. They’re currently attempting to fend off the Padres and Brewers in the wild card race.
While it would be unreasonable to expect homers from Harper every time he steps up at Lehigh Valley, it’s certainly a promising start. If he returns Monday, it would be against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Arizona.