Bryce Harper is expected to undergo surgery to repair his broken left thumb, according to Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Harper was hit on the left hand by a pitch during Saturday night’s contest in San Diego, resulting in a fracture. The surgery will likely cause Harper to miss upwards of a month.
It’s been a rough season health-wise for the 29-year-old winning NL MVP, as he hasn’t played the field since mid-May due to a partially torn UCL, and missed a handful of games last week with an infected blister. Now, an errant fastball from Padres hurled Blake Snell will cost Harper the next month-plus.
Despite his injuries, Harper has continued his league-leading ways at the plate this year, slashing .318/.385/.599 across 275 plate appearances. That production will be impossible to replace for the Phils, especially with stars Nick Castellanos and J.T. Realmuto underperforming thus far.
President of Baseball Operations David Dombrowski has already made one small move to bring in some outfield depth, acquiring struggling former top prospect Oscar Mercado from Cleveland earlier today. Mercado will likely be used in a bench role while Odúbel Herrera and Matt Vierling split time in center field. Former guest overall draft pick Mickey Moniak was recalled from Triple-A on Sunday as well.
There’s no concrete timetable on Harper’s recovery yet, but it seems likely he’ll be able to return before season’s end. If Harper can make a quick recovery from surgery, and the Phillies can stay in the hunt during his absence, they might still play meaningful baseball in October.