The Philadelphia Phillies received a heavy blow last week with the revelation that Bryce Harper required a full Tommy John procedure. The Phils announced that Harper was expected to return as a single-bat option for the All-Star Break, while playing the outfield again at some point in the second half.
President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowskileft open the possibility of a return earlier this week, but suggested he didn’t want to project any kind of more optimistic timeline:
In my mind, I’m watching the All-Star break. Anything before that is great.”
The veteran executive downplayed the need for the Phils to add an outfielder in response to the surgery, noting that any changes would lose their way to daily playing time once two-time NL MVP Harper returns.
The DH-only role would force Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos into corner outfield regularly to flank center fielder Brandon Marsh, with Matt Vierling serving as the fourth outfielder. Dombrowski suggested that while the Phils will be “open” to adding on the grass, “it’s not a priority for us.”
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MLB: Dave Dombrowski reveals whether or not he will hire an outfielder to cover Bryce Harper’s loss