The Phillies played Sunday without right fielder Bryce Harper, who was out of the lineup for the 21st time this season as he continues to deal with injuries.
Harper’s latest ailment is a sore left leg after he was hit Saturday by a changeup by Mets ace Jacob deGrom. Joe Girardi said Harper is “day to day” and will be re-evaluated on Monday before the team plays a rescheduled game in Cincinnati.
Harper has been slowed this season by a sore shoulder, wrist, back, and bruised nose. He limped off the field on Saturday after trying to play after being hit by deGrom. The Phillies replaced Harper in the lineup with Travis Jankowski.
Harper missed a game earlier this month in Los Angeles after his back bothered him enough a night earlier to be removed. He returned to the lineup for the next game as his injury cost him just a day. The Phillies are hoping this latest injury is resolved just as fast.
Harper’s All-Star case
Harper was the lone Phillies player to advance to the final round of All-Star voting, which begins online Monday at noon. The top three vote-getters at each of the the five infield positions including catcher advanced to the next round while the top nine outfielders moved on. Harper finished seventh among National League outfielders. The final round of voting closes Thursday at noon and the top three will start for the NL on July 13 in Denver.
Harper is unlikely to make the final three as he ranks 10th among NL outfielder with 10 homers, 11th in OPS (.878), and 11th in batting average with a .272 mark. The starters will be announced Thursday night and the pitchers and reserves will be announced Sunday. Harper was last an All-Star in 2018.
The Phillies sent Nick Maton to triple A on Wednesday before recalling him two days later. And he spent the weekend as one of their best hitters. He drove in two runs on Saturday and scored twice on Sunday. Maton got off to a hot start earlier this year when he debuted but cooled off before he was sent back to triple A. He looked this weekend like the rookie that made a strong impression in April.
“Joe [Dillon, hitting coach] worked really hard with him in the time that he wasn’t playing a lot here and it gave him a chance to reset a little bit, I think,” manager Joe Girardi said. “Which is important sometimes for young kids when they’re scuffling. He came back and he’s played extremely well. We sent him down to get some at-bats and he got some at-bats and kind of got going again. He swung it as well as anyone here this weekend.”
Maton was nearly picked off at third base in the second inning after a ball skipped away from Mets catcher James McCann. The ball did not bounce far enough and Maton was caught between third and home. He slid back to third but was initially ruled out, which would have been the second out of the inning. A replay review overturned the call and it was a key decision as Odúbel Herrera’s ensuing sacrifice fly wasn’t the third out.
“I think that’s really important,” Girardi said. “We had some hits that fell between infielders and outfielders that I think made a difference in this game. So it seemed like the balls that we hit hard were caught. The ball was not flying at all today. There were some balls that I thought would be over outfielders’ heads and they weren’t. But we needed that break.”
Spencer Howard will start Monday in Cincinnati against left-hander Wade Miley. ... Vince Velasquez will start Tuesday’s home series opener against the Marlins. ... Didi Gregorius (elbow) rehabbed with triple-A Lehigh Valley for the third time in four days. He went 0-for-2 with a walk and played seven innings at shortstop. He could return this week.