July 13, 2024


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Thompson says Harper's day off was planned after day of scary fall – NBC Sports Philadelphia

Thompson says Harper's day off was planned after day of scary fall – NBC Sports Philadelphia

Bryce Harper's scary fall into the camera well in the Phillies' dugout in the first inning of Saturday's 12-4 loss wasn't the reason he was left out of Sunday's lineup.

At least not the main reason.

Phillies manager Rob Thompson said Sunday was a planned day off for Harper two hours before the end of the series against the Braves.

“It was a scheduled day off anyway because he didn't play much in the spring,” he said. “Then it falls into the camera really well.

“It was kind of planned. He didn't play much at the end of spring training. He's only played two games in the last eight days or whatever.”

“Didn't see him today but he felt good last night.”

Harper scraped his left hand while pitching but remained in the game for seven innings. He was removed to start the top of the eighth because the game was out of control. Thompson is expected to be in the lineup for Monday's series opener against the Reds and left-hander Andrew Abbott.

The Phillies' decision to pit Harper against their division rival after two ugly games to start the season clearly seems strange. However, Harper did not appear in any Grapefruit League games from March 14 through March 23 as he dealt with back stiffness. He was busy throughout camp, practicing early in the morning each day at his new position, first base, in Clearwater's half field with outfield coach Bobby Dickerson and starting nine of 14 games in the first two weeks of March. He returned to the lineup for the final three spring games.

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“I'm trying to take care of them,” Thompson said of why Harper and Bryson Stott were out of the lineup against Chris Sale. “We've had two days off in the first month. So it's like spring training without the extra 44 players. And with the left tackle, we think we're getting other players involved and just protecting them. They don't necessarily have to do that.” Need holiday.”

Thompson was unsure if Harper would be available off the bench.

The match with Sale likely played a role. He is one of the most entertaining and powerful players in the game, and has maintained a .203/.256/.278 batting line.

“It's the stuff, the arm slot, the sweeping slider. Against right-handers, it starts off the plate and comes back to the plate. You've got to be able to really gauge that, and when you don't see it all the way, it can be tough,” Thompson said. “But we have (pitch track machine) in the basement. We're trying to hook this thing up and get as many looks as possible.”