Philadelphia Baseball Review - Phillies News, Rumors and Analysis
Bryce Harper
The Phillies stride into Friday’s game with the Marlins carrying an eight-game lead over the Braves in the NL East. However, a storm of injuries threatens to overshadow their first-half success, and the situation only seems to be worsening.

Bryce Harper, just hours after being named the National League's starting first baseman, pulled up lame on the final play of Thursday’s 7-4 loss to the Marlins. In a desperate attempt to beat out a grounder at first base, he clutched the back of his left leg before disappearing into the dugout and down the tunnel.

Harper underwent imaging on Friday morning that revealed a left hamstring strain. 

"I don't really like putting timetables on myself," Harper said when asked about a potential return date. "Obviously, I'm going to try and get back and get my body intact the best way I can, the best way I know how, and the quickest way possible. Everybody's body is different, so I'm going to do my thing."

Harper, 31, is delivering a standout performance this season, hitting .303 with a .399 on-base percentage and a .582 slugging percentage. His 20 home runs and 58 RBIs in just 76 games have him on track for arguably the best season of his career.

Manager Rob Thomson compared Harper's injury to what Brandon Marsh dealt with earlier this month. Marsh missed just eight games and played a two-game rehab assignment at Double-A Reading before rejoining the club in Baltimore. 

Kyle Schwarber also left Thursday's game early with what the team announced as left groin tightness. He too was placed on the 10-day injured list on Friday with a groin strain.

Asked about the timetable for their returns, Thomson seemed optimistic and believes both could be back in the lineup before the All-Star break. 

"It's very mild, for both of them," Thomson said. "Harper's is similar to Marsh's, and Kyle's is very, very mild. So, hopefully 10 to 14 days. We don't have a specific timeline, but I don't expect them to be out long.

The Phillies are already navigating the absence of catcher J.T. Realmuto, who underwent surgery earlier this month to remove torn cartilage from his right knee. He is expected to return around the All-Star break.

As if their woes weren't enough, the club placed Spencer Turnbull on the injured list before Thursday’s game with a right lat strain, sidelining him for about eight weeks. This follows Taijuan Walker’s placement on the injured list earlier this week due to a blister on his throwing hand.

"Pony up, cowboy up, and play the game," Harper said.

Johan Rojas and Kody Clemens both rejoined the team on Friday, taking the place of Harper and Schwarber.

Rojas, 23, slashed .235/.271/.295 in 58 games (196 plate appearances) with the Phillies this season but was demoted earlier this month to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He made the most of his time there, slashing .382/.417/.500 with a .917 OPS in 38 plate appearances over eight games.

Clemens, 28, has appeared in 17 games across two stints with the Phillies this year and slashed .256/.293/.615 with a 149 OPS+, three doubles, one triple, three home runs, and 10 RBIs in 41 plate appearances.

"This is a resilient group," Thomson said. "It just seems when guys go down, with this club, people step up and contribute, people answer the bell, and I expect the same thing to happen."

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Philadelphia Baseball Review - Phillies News, Rumors and Analysis