Bryce Harper suffers a broken thumb, indefinitely for the Phillies

Bryce Harper suffers a broken thumb, indefinitely for the Phillies

The Phillies’ worst-case scenario played out Saturday night as Bryce Harper suffered a broken left thumb and is out indefinitely.

Harper was hit in the thumb by a 97 mph Blake Snell fastball in Round 4 at San Diego. He immediately fell to the ground, clutching his left hand and writhing in pain. Visibly frustrated, Harper said something to Snell, who apologized and replied that it was unintentional. Harper yelled at Snell that he knew it wasn’t on purpose.

He will be reassessed in the next few days to determine the course of recovery and if surgery is needed.

Harper is as irreplaceable as any baseball player. The Phillies just got a taste of it earlier this week when they scored five combined points in three games that he missed with a blister. Harper was once again one of baseball’s best hitters, entering Saturday’s game scoring .320/.385/.602 with 21 doubles, 15 homers and 48 RBIs despite missing nine games. He has six more extra hits than anyone at the majors since last year’s All-Star break.

“It’s tough, the year he’s been through, the person he is,” Kyle Schwarber said on the post-game broadcast. “It’s a tough blow but we’re going to have to get over it. Obviously it’s going to be tough but I think this baseball club can handle that type of blow. We’ve got a lot of good players and we have to go one by one and don’t Don’t overdo it, just be ourselves, but when the guys’ numbers are called, we have to answer the bell.”

It was another trying but productive year for the reigning MVP. He hasn’t been able to pitch or play in the field since the second week of the season because of a small tear in his UCL. He was due to have the elbow re-examined next week. He also ran out of time earlier this week after a blister in his hand became infected.

The result of Saturday’s game, a 4-2 Phillies victory, was almost an afterthought in light of Harper’s injury. The Phils will need more than several hitters, especially Nick Castellanos, who hasn’t lived up to expectations so far. They are also without Jean Segura, who is out until early September after breaking his finger in a bunt attempt.

The trade deadline is just over five weeks away and the Phillies could go for an outfielder or a DH. In the meantime, Mickey Moniak is back in the big leagues.

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