Phillies star Bryce Harper homered twice in his first rehab assignment game.
Philadelphia Phillies star Bryce Harper could not have a better start to his rehab assignment at Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Tuesday.
In five plate appearances opposite the Atlanta Braves’ Gwinnett Stripers, the seven-time All-Star went 2-for-3 with three runs scored, two home runs, four RBI, and two walks. Harper even showed some aggression on the base paths, attempting a stolen base.
Harper has not logged a big-league plate appearance since June 25 — when a fastball thrown by San Diego Padres pitcher Blake Snell fractured his thumb.
MLB Network analyst Yonder Alonso — who played four seasons with the Padres from 2012 to 2015 — revealed Wednesday morning an inspiring detail from that night:
"“I was in San Diego when [Bryce Harper] broke his thumb. I saw him when he just got the X-ray. I never said this before. I looked at him and he looked at me, and tears were coming down. He is a player. We talk about a guy who wants to be out there every day and wants to win every day. He feels this city. Every time they win or lose, he feels it with them.”"
Harper shedding tears the night of his unfortunate injury in San Diego is not a surprise. The Las Vegas native agreed to a team-friendly deal after the 2018 season to play in Philadelphia for likely the remainder of his future Hall-of-Fame career. On and off the field, Harper surely does not hide his passion to bleed Phillies red.
Harper missed some time last season due to a left forearm contusion — not to mention the 100 or so games canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Phillies fans have missed out on some amazing Harper plate appearances and in turn, iconic moments, in recent seasons.
Hopefully, once Harper returns from the injured list in the next few days, the slugger will make up for lost time and help propel the Phillies to their first postseason appearance in more than a decade.