PHILADELPHIA — For a guy who isn’t ready to play baseball yet, Bryce Harper certainly hits like a baseball.
The Phillies’ $330 million man isn’t allowed to slip away, so he’s still weeks away from making it back to the big leagues. But he seems to be doing everything else to speed up his final rehab period. It includes a modified sliding practice, a fast batting practice, and a curveball at his park with the Citizens working on his machine before Tuesday’s game against Miami. He hit a ground ball in the infield to put in a grab.
Harper, who underwent Tommy John surgery in November, is not on the verge of a comeback. His biggest remaining step is clearance to slide because he risks re-injuring the reconstructed ulnar collateral ligament in his right (throwing) elbow. But all batting work is designed to reduce the time it takes him to regain his timing. .
According to manager Rob Thomson, when asked if Harper was ready to bat in the game, he replied: He’s hit a lot. ”
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An 8-4 loss to Miami on Tuesday left the Phillies with plenty of money for the “what if” mill.
What if Aaron Nola gave Jean Segura a pitch called a strike 3 at the bottom of the zone in the sixth to end that frame 3-0 and the Phillies quickly recooped at the end of the inning? JT Realmuto thought it was a strike, got out of his crouch and took a step towards the dugout.
Nola was more frustrated with her inability to keep hitters out than the umpires’ decisions.
“We didn’t make the pitch when we needed to,” he said. “With two strikes, I felt like I was one pitch away from him. We kept making a few mistakes and they kept hitting and spiraling.”
Or what if Bryson Stott didn’t take a very big turnaround in the first place after a stunning at-bat against starter Jesús Luzaldo, after a two-run single to cut the deficit to 4-3? . diamond? If Luzard had pitched on his 98 pitches and pinch hitter Brandon Marsh had been scheduled, the Phillies would have manned the corner. And Marsh walked and singled in two plate appearances.
Both issues probably speak to something bigger. Nora had just 58 pitches to get him into sixth place and he needed 32 pitches to get two outs. He hoped to make it into the final starting line-up in New York. He was the only player in Philly this season to have six innings left. That toll on the bullpen could have been shown in the rough outings from burdened relievers Conor Brogdon and Andrew Veratti.
Stott, who extended his hitting streak to 11 games, said Thomson will return to the leadoff spot on Wednesday.
“It’s just that I’m not playing very well myself,” Stott said. “…it was always one hit away from the big innings, and I think when I was backpicked first, we had all the momentum. Whether they scored four more runs or not. Who knows what happened there? It would have been nice to just give ourselves a chance there.”
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Notes >> Luis Araez became the first Marlin to hit for the cycle. He doubled in the first inning, tripled in the sixth, hit a solo homer off Brogdon in the seventh, and singled with a run in the eighth. … Ranger Suarez (elbow pain) was in the bullpen and he threw 30 to his 35 pitches. Thomson said it looks “very good” and the team will decide on its next step on Wednesday. … Christopher Sanchez (triceps strain) in Lehigh Valley where he pitched four scoreless innings, allowing six strikeouts and his one hit. He threw 52 pitches. He will stay there for now, said Thomson. … Nick Nelson (hamstring) throws Thursday and Saturday. … Garrett Stubbs was taken off the bench on Tuesday after feeling a cramp in his leg late in Monday’s win. … Zach Wheeler (0-1, 5.59 ERA) takes the mound Wednesday for a rubber game in the series opposed by Edward Cabrera (0-1, 5.40).
https://www.mcall.com/2023/04/11/phillies-notebook-bryce-harper-working-hard-even-if-he-cant-slide-right-back-into-action/ Phillies slugger continues rehab after elbow surgery