Can the Phillies survive without Bryce Harper?
Bryce Harper was already playing through injury, moving from the outfield to designated hitter so as not to abandon his Philadelphia Phillies.
But the injury he sustained on Saturday night, a fractured thumb from a 97 mph Blake Snell fastball, isn’t one he can play through.
Between the tear in his UCL and now the thumb, Harper’s season may very well be over. Best-case scenario, he’s out until September, and if the Phillies can’t keep it up without him, by then, it might not matter.
It’s a heartbreaking turn of events for him and the team, which was finally turning into a legitimate winner. It’s not overdramatic to say this is a catastrophe, nor is it hyperbolic to wonder if the season is over.
There is no way to replace Harper. He was hitting .318/.385/.599 with a .985 OPS, 21 doubles, and 15 home runs over 64 games. All with a tear in his UCL. The already-inconsistent Phillies lineup is now without their most steady bat.
It’s hard to put into words how devastating this is, but in Harper’s absence, the show must go on. His teammates owe it to him, the fans, ownership, and themselves to break the chain of embarrassing Phillies seasons.
For the first time in over a decade, the Phillies need to pick themselves up and figure it out. This hapless, inconsistent conundrum of a squad needs to rally and prove everyone wrong.
The Phillies need to win without Harper, for Harper.