Bryce Harper was removed from Friday’s series opener against the Mets after taking a pitch off of his hand. Per an official team announcement, he was diagnosed with a right hand contusion; Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer says there’s been no word as to whether the team will have Harper undergo X-rays as well.
The incident occurred in the top of the third inning when Mets lefty Steven Matz fired a first-pitch, 92.9 sinker that ricocheted off of the top of Harper’s right hand. Harper immediately fell backward onto the dirt, where he remained hunched over for several seconds before receiving medical attention from the Phillies’ staff. Although he was eventually able to take first base, he did not come out for the top of the fourth inning and was replaced in right field by Sean Rodríguez.
It’s an unfortunate disruption to an otherwise perfectly healthy campaign for the 26-year-old, who entered Friday’s contest batting .255/.371/.498 with 30 home runs, 100 RBI, and an .869 OPS through 598 plate appearances. Should further tests find any structural damage, he’ll likely be headed for his first stint on the injured list since 2017.
Last night it was reported that the Players Union had made an offer to Major League Baseball and the owners regarding plans for a 2020 season. The offer, which was in part counteroffer to the owners’ previous offer, part new proposals of its own, involved a 114-game season with an end date on October 31, a playoff expansion for two years, the right for players to opt out of the season over health concerns, and a potential deferral of 2020 salaries if the postseason were to be canceled.
How’s that sitting with the owners? Not great, folks.
Evan Drellich of The Athletic reported this morning that the owners want a shorter schedule than the 114 games the players proposed, likely because they want to increase the odds that they can get to a postseason before a potential second wave COVID-19 outbreak occurs, as many experts expect it will. The owners also, not surprisingly, still want salary reductions, which the players have not addressed due to their contention that the matter was settled. Drellich says that the players’ offer “hasn’t been rejected yet but that’s inevitable.”
Bob Klapisch of the Newark Star-Ledger is more blunt:
The sides are, as Drellich notes, still talking. It would appear, however, that the owners tack of negotiating through the media is continuing on as well.