Everyone following the Phillies knows Bryce Harper isn’t fully back right now. The former NL MVP is still very much working toward 100% as he recovers from offseason Tommy John surgery.
Harper made a massive step in his rehab earlier this month, though, as the seven-time All-Star finally returned to first base after serving solely in the DH role following his return on May 2.
That being said, Harper taking up residence at 1B hasn’t come without any hiccups. On Monday, Rob Thomson revealed the veteran is dealing with body soreness that stems from playing in the field after such a long layoff.
Thomson told reporters Harper is “just a little banged up,” but clarified he’s “fine.” Though Harper is staying at DH for the second straight game on Monday, he’s expected to return to first base on Tuesday.
All in all, this isn’t anything for fans to get super worked up over right now. Harper was used only as a DH for over a year before his return to the field, so it’s completely understandable that his body is feeling a little strained. Working off rust is a totally natural part of sports and injury recovery, so this isn’t unexpected.
It sounds like Harper’s soreness won’t keep him out of the field for long, either, which means no true setbacks have occurred. That’s great news for the Phillies as they eye a run down the stretch.
Philadelphia will hope that Harper gets back to form and provides a boost as they look to keep pace in the NL playoff picture. So far, the 30-year-old is slashing .291/.387/.407 while posting 5 home runs and 31 RBIs. A resurgence over the final months of the season could be exactly what helps ensure the Phillies’ return to the postseason.