Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber injuries will test Phillies' depth

The Phillies will lean on their bench players while Harper and Schwarber are on the shelf.
Philadelphia Phillies first baseman bryce harper
Philadelphia Phillies first baseman bryce harper / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

Where do we begin when breaking down what went wrong for the Philadelphia Phillies during Thursday night's frustrating 7-4 defeat at the hands of the Miami Marlins? Last night was the latest reminder that the fortunes of a team can change drastically over the course of a nine-inning ball game. That fact was never more evident than when Kyle Schwarber and Bryce Harper were both lost to injuries at the end of the game.

On Friday, the Phillies announced that both players have been placed on the 10-day IL and have luckily avoided serious injury. Schwarber's left groin strain might keep him out for the minimum 10 days, while Harper's left hamstring strain isn't considered serious and is the best-case scenario. According to's Paul Casella, manager Rob Thomson said there's a "good chance" both players return before the All-Star break.

Harper was reserved when speaking to the media after the game, offering that he hasn't experienced this type of injury in his career, and how his body responds would be a mystery.

Schwarber sounded a bit more hopeful post-game, seemingly trying to brush off the reality of being placed on the IL. He was confident that the Phillies' organizational depth could carry the team with himself and Harper on the injured list.

"I feel like that's why we have this depth of pretty good players at Triple-A," explained Schwarber. "And guys here, I mean, we have a really good bench, so if there's time to be missed, I have all the faith in the world in these guys to keep doing their thing."

Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber injuries will test Phillies' depth

Already dealing with the absence of catcher J.T. Realmuto following minor knee surgery, the Phillies have been forced to tap into organizational depth regularly over the last two months. With Harper and Schwarber now sidelined, the Phillies bench will have to step up and help the team win ball games and make a bigger impact while the team is down three All-Star-caliber players.

Whit Merrifield has struggled in a Phillies uniform since signing a one-year, $8 million deal to fill a super-utility role on a team desperate for quality right-handed hitting. Merrifield's current batting average of .191 with three home runs and nine RBI is certainly not what the Phillies were hoping for when he signed. All eyes will be on the former All-Star to put it together, as he will certainly be gaining more playing time.

Edmundo Sosa did a fantastic job filling in for Trea Turner, who spent six weeks recovering from a hamstring strain. Sosa has had the most consistency of all of the Phillies bench bats this season, and after being introduced to corner outfield reps before games, it will be curious to see if Sosa finally spends time in left field to keep his bat in the lineup.

Cristian Pache and David Dahl will also be tasked with showing more production in the next few weeks. The pair already has the Phillies front office evaluating them closely as the trade deadline approaches, and solid play from one of the two players could determine their roster spot when the dust settles on July 30.

The team will need Pache to get on base and play solid enough defense to justify his platoon with Brandon Marsh. Pache appears to be on borrowed time unless he can unlock the skills that once made him a top prospect.

The Phillies will hope that Dahl's power can offer a spark for an offense that is dramatically weakened without Harper, Schwarber and Realmuto. The former All-Star has provided the team some pop since making his debut in early June, and Dahl could be in line to DH while Schwarber is out.

Familiar names return from Lehigh Valley

Kody Clemens had a solid run with the Phillies when he was recalled when Turner went on the IL in May. Clemens showed a lot of promise before being placed on the 10-day IL himself with back spasms on June 3. Recalled from his rehab assignment with Lehigh Valley, Clemens is the next man up on the 26-man roster.

The recently demoted Johan Rojas is getting another look after showing promising signs at the plate playing for Lehigh Valley. In eight games with the IronPigs, the center fielder hit .382 with a 917 OPS.