Major Bryce Harper Update From Phillies

At the plate, he hit his first home run last night in 38 games, and now superstar Bryce Harper is about to play his first game in the field in exactly 15 months. 

The Philadelphia Phillies have announced that the former two-time MVP will start at first base in their upcoming series with the Milwaukee Brewers. The last time Harper donned a glove in a major league game was April 16, 2022. Since then, elbow troubles and Tommy John surgery have limited him to DHing, although he began working out at first base in April, and was taking infield drills this past week.

He came back from the TJ surgery much quicker than expected this season, debuting on May 2nd, but they've been protecting his surgically-repaired elbow by playing him only at DH. And while he's maintained an average near .300 since his return, and an on-base near .400, his power hasn't yet returned to his standards. Harper's HR on Saturday ended a career-high drought of 38 games, and gives him four on the season.

Now, Harper will debut as the Phillies' "new" first baseman. He's played only a third of an inning at the position in his 12-year career as a right fielder. 

Could he possibly return to the outfield this season? Manager Rob Thomson says it's not “off the table,” but "it’s on the edge of the table,” he said. “Teetering.” And if it does happen, it’ll be later in the season.

Photo: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports