Bryce Harper changes batting stance

Rich Schultz/Getty Images
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In an effort to boost his offense, Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper changed his batting stance in his first at-bat Monday night in Arizona against the Diamondbacks.

In his first-inning at-bat on Sunday, Harper’s bat was just above his left shoulder.

In his first-inning at-bat on Monday, Harper’s bat was straight up, presumably in an attempt to let him get to the baseball sooner. Harper has famously struggled against the fastball this year. Harper narrowly missed a three-run home run in the first inning, hitting a 386-foot fly out to left-center field.

Harper, 26, hasn’t been terrible by any means in the first year of his 13-year, $330 million contract, but he also hasn’t produced at the level many expected. Entering Monday’s action, he was batting .248/.372/.463 with 19 home runs and 73 RBI in 487 plate appearances. Harper has been worth 1.8 Wins Above Replacement according to Baseball Reference and 2.3 WAR according to FanGraphs. A league average player is around 2.0 WAR over a full season.

Mets claim Sam Coonrod off waivers from Phillies

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — The active New York Mets added another newcomer to their bullpen mix when they claimed reliever Sam Coonrod off waivers from the NL East rival Philadelphia Phillies.

Coonrod had a 7.82 ERA in 12 appearances covering 12 2/3 innings last year for the National League champions. The right-hander is 7-5 with a 5.27 ERA and five saves in 105 games over four major league seasons with San Francisco and Philadelphia. He has struck out 95 and walked 44 in 97 1/3 innings.

The 30-year-old Coonrod was designated for assignment by the Phillies last week when they signed free agent infielder Josh Harrison.

To make room on the 40-man roster, outfielder Khalil Lee was designated for assignment by the Mets.