SAN DIEGO – Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper has fractured his left thumb after hitting Blake Snell at 97 mph in the fourth inning against the San Diego Padres on Saturday night.
The team announced that the current NL MVP would be out indefinitely. They will be further evaluated in the next few days.
Harper checked his swing as Snell’s pitch moved inward and higher toward his shoulder before hitting the outside of the left arm. Harper immediately fell to the ground and was in visible pain as he held his hand on his knees for several minutes while Paul Bouchet, Phillips’ head trainer, looked after him.
Phillies general manager Dave Dombrowski, who traveled with the team on the road trip, said it was too early to determine whether surgery would be needed. He said he wasn’t sure what type of fracture Harper had or where his thumb hurt.
“We will put him on the injured list (Sunday),” Dombrowski said. I was worried right with the bat because he is a tough guy and he walked off the field immediately.
As Harper was halfway to the Philadelphia dugout, he angrily yelled at Snell and pointed his hand at the Padres starting pitcher. Snell eventually yelled back at Harper. Several Petco Park fans began booing Harper after several seconds, with Harper yelling at Snell.
Harper then calmed down and appeared to say “I know, I know” to Snell, acknowledging that the pitcher didn’t mean to hit him with the pitch.
“He knows (Snell) wasn’t trying to throw it at him,” Dombrowski said. “It was just an emotional time. He’s had bad luck – last year he had a face injury and this year he’s got some injuries.”
Harper, serving as the Phillies’ designated hitter, was replaced by Johann Camargo.
“He’s someone who really can’t be replaced on an individual basis, but we have to be in a position that other people have to move on,” Dombrowski said. “We will take a step. Try and get someone here (Sunday).”
Harper has scored .318 runs, 48 RBIs and .984 ops in 64 matches this season despite a small tear in his right elbow at the UCL that has kept him from playing outfield since April 16 . He has tried to survive Tommy John’s surgery at the end of the season with a platelet-rich plasma injection and rest.
“I don’t know how long he’ll be out at this point,” Dombrowski said. “I hope he comes back at some point. We still have a lot of good hitters in the lineup. … The Braves won the World Series last year without (Ronald) Acua.”