Nyjer Morgan was off to a great start in Milwaukee, hitting .455 in 27 plate appearances as a part-time player, but now he’s headed for the disabled list with a deep thigh bruise suffered in collision at the plate with Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit.
Brandon Boggs, who last saw extended action in the majors with the Rangers as a 25-year-old rookie in 2008, will be called up from Triple-A to replace Morgan on the roster.
Much of Morgan’s game is based on speed, so a deep thigh bruise could be tougher for him to come back from quickly than other players, although if it keeps him from attempting as many ill-advised stolen bases once he does return the injury might not be such a terrible thing.
Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.
Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.
Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”
Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.
Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.