Universal DH is Phillies’ saving grace amid Bryce Harper’s UCL injury
In any other season in the history of Major League Baseball (2020 excluded), the Philadelphia Phillies would be up a creek without their most powerful paddle.
Because if there’s no designated hitter in the National League, Bryce Harper, who hasn’t been able to play right field in nearly a month, would be on the bench.
Instead, he’s been able to stay in the lineup and will continue to DH, despite this week’s update that his injury is actually a small tear in his UCL.
Even with the additions of Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos, Harper’s bat is crucial. Since moving to the DH spot on April 17, he’s slashing .319/.340/.626 with a .967 OPS. He has 29 hits in 23 games, including eight doubles, a triple, and six home runs. He’s scored 17 times and driven in 15 runs. His squad is 11-12 over that span, which isn’t terrible, by their standard over the last decade.
The Phillies are spending the weekend with the powerhouse Los Angeles Dodgers, and Harper was key to them opening the series on the right foot on Thursday, going 2-for-4 with a home run, a double, and three RBI.
It goes without saying that Harper is one of the most formidable hitters in baseball, and the Phillies need him if they want to win. And basic arithmetic would indicate the Phillies don’t win Thursday night’s series opener – or quite a few of their other 14 victories – without him.
Thanks to the Universal DH, they don’t have to worry about that.