The reigning National League MVP Bryce Harper is simply not human. On a normal day, it takes a lot for a manager to keep Bryce on the bench. The guy simply loves the game of baseball and wants to be on the field helping his club the best he can. Despite a lingering injury that MV3 suffered in mid-April, Bryce has been lighting it up at the plate. Hitting .305 with 27 RBIs and a .994 OPS, there is a chance that Bryce Harper is playing even better than he did last season.
Overcoming the Odds
Bryce Harper was able to overcome plenty of obstacles in 2021 but the biggest hurdle Bryce cleared took place on April 28th. The heartbreat of the Phils would be hit in the face with a 97 mph pitch by St. Louis Cardinals reliever Genesis Cabrera. This was clearly an accident and Bryce made sure to let the media and the Cardinals’ young pitcher that he knew it wasn’t on purpose. Harper showed great leadership and even mentioned how he hoped the accident wouldn’t shake Genesis’s confidence as a young pitcher in the big leagues.
That leadership was continued throughout the season, as he carried the Phillies to their first winning record in a decade. The injury did not slow down Bryce Harper in 2021, and so far in 2022, the story remains the same.
Back to Back MVPs?
In a weird way, the tale of the 2021 season has repeated in 2022 for Bryce Harper. Instead of getting hit in the face with high heat, Bryce became a victim of his powerful arm. In a 5-4 win over the Mets, Bryce threw a strike in from the outfield. He immediately grabbed his arm and his body language clearly showed that he was in discomfort. Being the warrior that he is, coming out of the game was never in question. Bryce would continue to play right field for the next few games before he was just unable to throw.
The injury suffered by Harper was a torn UCL. The tear was not too drastic and Bryce claimed that it did not affect his swing. Luckily for the Phillies and their prized possession, new rules in the National League have played to their advantage. The recent addition of the Designated Hitter to the NL has allowed Bryce to continue to play. This has been a blessing for the Phillies. Bryce is batting .350 as the DH with eight home runs, twenty RBIs, and twenty runs scored. Most recently he received player of the week honors for the National League.
Bryce received a PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injection on Sunday and missed the finale against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The shot was held off due to Harper’s hot bat but the team felt it was needed to help their star get back to playing right field. There is a chance that Bryce will miss Tuesday’s opener against the Padres but missing a handful of games now to have long-term health is more important. Bryce has proved that he is willing to play through pain and discomfort. That is the Philly mantra in a nutshell. Harper will put his body on the line to win and there truly is nothing more Philly than that.
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire