Phillies’ Harper says could return by the All-Star break Yankees LHP Carlos Rodón to start season on injured list
CLEARWATER, Florida – Philadelphia Phillies slugger Bryce Harper joined his teammates for spring training and did not rule out returning in time for the All-Star break following Tommy John surgery.
“Things can change anyway,” two-time National League MVP Harper said Thursday. “I could be after, I could be before. But now this is the date when we kind of strengthened. We won’t be in a hurry. We’re going to be smart about it.”
Dressed in red pinstriped Phillies shorts and a white jogging shirt, Harper sat on a picnic table outside the clubhouse.
“I’m just glad to be back here, some sun and warm weather,” Harper said. “Just really happy to be on the team again.”
Harper was injured in April and played right field for the last time on April 16 in Miami. In November, he underwent surgery.
“After I had the surgery, I took the break I needed to let it heal,” Harper said. “He’s still healing right now, still developing. Just trying to see how I feel every day and move on.”
Entering the fifth season of a 13-year, $330 million contract, Harper currently bats but does not face pitches.
“I’ve never dealt with something like an elbow, so it’s a whole different thing for me,” Harper said. “Just trying to take it day in and day out.”
Philadelphia manager Rob Thomson said Harper was making progress and added that he hit the ball on Thursday. For now, Harper will hit every other day.
Thomson added that Harper probably won’t train until after spring training.
“You have a lot of steps to go,” Thomson said. “It’s just how he goes through it, his stages. We’re going to take it slow with him. Obviously he is a great player and we want him to come back 100%.”
In May, Harper received an injection of platelet-rich plasma into his elbow and became a regular hitter to finish the season, helping the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009. They lost to Houston in six games.
“We’re grateful again for DH,” Harper said with a smile. “I was so against it, right? But I’m all into it, and I love during it too.”
Harper will DH when he returns. It is expected that it will be some time before he starts the throwing program.
“Of course I want to play in the outfield,” Harper said, “I want to go back there and be in front of the fans on right field and do my job and hear it from all the teams (fans) in the league. “.
Thomson is yet to say if Harper will play in the outfield this year.
“It all depends on how he recovers and enters the throwing program,” Thomson said. “How it all works. I don’t think it’s out of the question.”
Harper missed two months last season after breaking his thumb on the field in late June. The 30-year-old hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs in 99 games.
Harper batted .349 with six home runs and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games. His homer with two runs and two strikeouts in the eighth inning captured the Phillies’ pennant in a 4-3 win over the San Diego Padres.
Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski had an active offseason by adding shortstops Three Turnerinfielder Josh Harrisonand jugs taijuan walker, Gregory Soto, Craig Kimbrel And Matt Strum.
Turner signed an 11-year, $300 million contract after hitting .298 with the Los Angeles Dodgers last year with 21 homers, 100 RBIs, 101 runs and 27 stolen bases.
“Philadelphians will love this guy just for the way he plays,” Harper said.
TAMPA, Florida – Carlos Rodon’s New York Yankees debut will have to be postponed.
The veteran left-handed pitcher will start the season on the injured list with a sprained left forearm.
Rawdon will be closed for 7 to 10 days, negating any chance it will be ready by opening day, New York general manager Brian Cashman told reporters Thursday.
The Yankees signed Rodon to a six-year, $162 million contract during the offseason to join the starting rotation, which includes Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes And Louis Severino.
Rodon struggled in his first spring practice, allowing five runs on six hits in two innings of work against Atlanta on Sunday.
Cashman said that Rawdon’s elbow was fine.
The 30-year-old is having an exciting season in San Francisco, going 14-8 with a 2.88 ERA in 178 innings, making the All-Star Game a second straight year.