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.
CLEARWATER, Fla. — Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins needs surgery for a torn ACL after injuring his left knee Thursday fielding a grounder in a spring training game and is expected to miss a significant amount of time.
The Phillies did not say when Hoskins would have the surgery or exactly how long the slugging first baseman might be sidelined.
Hoskins hit 30 homers with 79 RBIs last season for the reigning National League champions.
He was backing up to play a chopper on Thursday when the ball popped out of his glove. Sooner after, he fell to the ground and began clutching his left knee. Teammates gathered around him before he was taken off of the field.
Hoskins, a free agent at the end of the season who turned 30 last week, hit six homers in Philadelphia’s playoff run last season. The Phillies lost to the Houston Astros in the World Series.
The injury was another blow for the Phillies, who will be without top pitching prospect Andrew Painter for another few weeks because of a sprained ligament in his right elbow. And slugger Bryce Harper isn’t expected back until around the All-Star break after undergoing Tommy John surgery in November.