Maybe June was too good for the Philadelphia Phillies after all. Just before the turn of the calendar, the team was dealt bad news after star outfielder Bryce Harper was hit by a pitch from San Diego Padres pitcher Blake Snell. Harper will likely require surgery on the fractured left thumb, but he still plans to return this season.
The reigning National League MVP was placed on the injured list Sunday, in the midst of another great season. Harper was hitting a strong .318/.385/.599 with a .985 OPS, 15 home runs, 48 RBI, 49 runs scored and nine stolen bases. It’s a massive blow to a Phillies lineup that really turned it around after a tough start to 2022. The team hopes to see the 29-year-old again by the end of August, who has also been plagued this season by an elbow injury, relegating him to a designated hitter role exclusively. With Harper on the injured list, it is expected that Nick Castellanos will slide in as the primary designated hitter option. This should potentially allow the Phillies a chance to opt for a more defensive lineup, for a defense that has been shaky at best. For now, Mickey Moniak and Matt Vierling appear to be in line for more playing time. Get MLB Betting action on our MLB Odds section.