Which Phillie may be the odd man out if Bryce Harper is cleared to play in LA? initially appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
HOUSTON — The Phillies might be going through a roster choice Tuesday, one they’d welcome as a result of it could imply the return of Bryce Harper.
Harper has his follow-up appointment Monday in Los Angeles with Dr. Neal ElAttrache, the famend orthopedic surgeon who carried out his Tommy John surgical procedure on November 23.
Harper has been going so onerous in his rehab, understanding so intensely that supervisor Rob Thomson admitted it could be disappointing if he is not cleared Monday. And if he’s, he might be again within the Phillies’ lineup Tuesday because the designated hitter.
If/when that occurs, the Phils must possibility one among their place gamers to the minors until an harm happens first. The likeliest candidates are outfielder Jake Cave and nook infielder Kody Clemens, each left-handed hitters.
Both Cave and Clemens have choices remaining. So does Dalton Guthrie, however Guthrie’s right-handed bat will most likely maintain him round. Guthrie was known as up over the weekend when Cristian Pache tore the meniscus in his proper knee and Thomson mentioned he would slide proper into Pache’s function as an occasional starter in middle subject towards a tricky left-handed pitcher.
Clemens started his Phillies profession 1 for 16 however has homered in three of his final 4 begins and pushed in a run in all 4. He homered Saturday and Sunday in Houston, the place he grew up.
Cave additionally had a productive weekend, going 3 for 4 with two doubles within the Phillies’ win Saturday over Cristian Javier. He’s had some huge hits this season. He homered off of Sandy Alcantara on April 10 to begin the Phillies’ scoring, with teammate Brandon Marsh crediting him after the sport with opening the floodgates. Cave hit a three-run double and an RBI single on April 16 in Cincinnati. He hit an RBI single with the Phillies trailing the Rockies by two on April 21, a sport they got here again to win by a run. He supplied the Phils insurance coverage Saturday with a late RBI single that helped them keep away from utilizing Jose Alvarado, Gregory Soto and Craig Kimbrel.
The choice of Cave or Clemens might go both manner. Cave, a six-year vet, might be the higher hitter and general participant, however Clemens most likely makes extra sense positionally as a left-handed-hitting possibility at first base towards righties.
Cave can play middle subject however hasn’t but this season. He most likely will not as a result of Marsh is the on a regular basis starter and can be a left-handed hitter. When Marsh does sit, the nod would go to Guthrie because it went to Pache beforehand. And with Harper returning because the Phillies’ DH, it means Kyle Schwarber will likely be locked in to left subject each day, turning Cave right into a pinch-hitter.
Eventually, the Phillies hope to make use of Harper at first base, which is able to afford them extra flexibility, however that is nonetheless a methods away.
Here’s what a Phillies lineup with Harper would possibly appear to be:
1. Bryson Stott, 2B (L)
2. Trea Turner, SS
3. Bryce Harper, DH (L)
4. Nick Castellanos, RF
5. Kyle Schwarber, LF (L)
6. J.T. Realmuto, C
7. Brandon Marsh, CF (L)
8. Alec Bohm, 1B
9. Edmundo Sosa, 3B
“I actually just like the steadiness of this lineup, and whenever you get Harper again and he will get scorching, it is a lengthy lineup,” Thomson mentioned. “It’s going to be a handful for lots of pitchers.”