Harper went 2-for-3 with a walk, two homers, three runs and three RBI in Thursday's game against the Blue Jays. Harper's late arrival and cold start to spring gave at least some reason to worry that the slugger may start the season in a slump. If Thursday's exploits are anything to go by, he sure seems ready now, as his spring OPS soared up to 1.192. The outfielder has typically started the season hot, as he owns a .309/.436/.619 line through the end of April over the course of his career.
Harper will play four innings in right field in a minor-league game Monday, Scott Lauber of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The original plan was to restrict Harper to designated hitter duties, but he felt confident enough to test his bruised ankle with some defensive work. Assuming that goes well, he'll be back with the big-league squad Wednesday. Barring setbacks, he should be unaffected by the start of the regular season.
Harper went 0-for-3 with a walk in Sunday's Grapefruit League game against the Yankees. Harper, who didn't play Saturday after getting hit by a pitch in the foot the day before, went hitless in his return to action (as the designated hitter). The outfielder is now 0-for-8 with a stolen base and 4:5 BB:K through five games this spring. According to Matt Breen of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Harper is scheduled to play in a minor-league contest Monday before returning to the field Wednesday against the Tigers.
Harper (foot) is batting third and serving as the designated hitter Sunday against the Yankees. Harper missed Saturday's game after getting hit by a pitch in the foot the day before. The Phillies are playing it safe and keeping the outfielder from playing the field in his first game back, but his presence in the lineup as DH all but confirms the issue isn't anything that will have an effect on his status for the start of the season.
Harper (foot) could be back in the lineup Sunday against the Yankees, Matt Breen of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Harper didn't play Saturday after getting hit by a pitch in the foot the day before, but he did play catch and do agility work. He'll be evaluated Sunday morning and may not quite be ready to go, but the fact that a return is already possible bodes well for him being unaffected by Opening Day.
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