Philadelphia Phillies slugger and reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper suffered a fractured left thumb Saturday night against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park (GameTracker). Harper took a 97-mph Blake Snell fastball to the hand and exited the game immediately. The Phillies announced the fracture soon thereafter and say Harper will undergo additional tests in the coming days. They did not provide a timetable for his recovery.
Here’s video of the errant pitch. Snell apologized and, although in obvious pain and understandably upset, Harper appeared to tell Snell he knows he didn’t hit him intentionally as he walked off the field.
The Phillies officially placed Harper on the 10-day injured list on Sunday. Triple-A Lehigh Valley outfielder Mickey Moniak will take his place on the roster.
Harper has been limited to DH duty most of the season by an elbow ligament injury. Nonetheless, he was having a fantastic season, and took a .320/.385/.602 batting line with 21 doubles and 15 home runs into Saturday’s game. He ranks seventh in baseball in extra-base hits (37) and eighth in total bases (145). Simply put, Harper is irreplaceable.
“Things happen for a reason,” Harper told reporters, including MLB.com, after the game. “Everybody says that. This reason sucks right now, but at the same time, it is what it is. I’ve got to be positive. I’ve got to be positive for the guys in here. I know they’ll pick up the slack. I’m just really bummed for the organization, the guys, the city of Philadelphia, the fans. I love running out there and playing every day. Definitely bummed.”
Harper was having one of the best seasons of his career, despite playing since mid-April with a torn UCL in his right arm. He was batting .318 with 15 home runs, 48 RBIs and a .984 OPS. He ranks fifth in the NL in batting average, sixth in on-base percentage (.385) and second in slugging percentage (.599).
“It’s a tough pill to swallow,” Phillies interim manager Rob Thomson said. “But they’re not going to cancel any games. We’ve got to play.”
They know it.
“It’s devastating, to say the least,” Castellanos said. “He’s having an All-Star, MVP-caliber year. To lose him for any amount of time is too long. We’re all going to have to step up. Me, definitely included. To carry the weight that we’re going to be missing, it’s got to be done.
“We are where we are and we’ve won the games that we have, and I still think that there’s a better version of Rhys [Hoskins], I think there’s a better version of J.T. [Realmuto]. There’s a way better version of myself. I think it’s only a matter of time before all those show up. If they show up at the same, baseball can get real fun, real quick.”
Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski mentioned the Braves won the World Series last year without Ronald Acuña Jr., who suffered a season-ending knee injury on July 10.
They finished the regular season 44-29. The Padres have not had Fernando Tatis Jr. this…