Bryce Harper hasn’t started since Friday night’s game against the Mets. That’s when he was hit in the hand with a pitch. It knocked him clean out of Saturday’s game and limited him to one pinch hitting appearance yesterday, in which he swung the bat several times and eventually walked.
He’s apparently feeling much better now, however, as the lineup for tonight’s Braves-Phillies game has been announced and Harper is in it, batting third and playing right field.
Harper is hitting .254/.373/.497 with 30 homers on the year. The Phillies begin play tonight two games behind the Cubs for the second Wild Card in the National League, tied with the Brewers and with the Arizona Diamondbacks a half game ahead of them.
Indians slugger José Ramírez broke the hamate bone on his right hand last month and had surgery on August 26 to repair it. At the time he was given the same schedule most hamate bone surgery recipients get: 5-7 weeks if all goes well. Apparently all has gone better-than-well for Ramírez, however, because the Indians are going to activate him tomorrow.
That’s good news for the Indians, who are in a dead heat with the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL’s second Wild Card with six games to go.
Ramírez, like his team, started the season slowly, but he had turned things on in July and August to help fuel Cleveland’s surge into playoff contention. He hit .320/.340/.680 with nine homers and 25 driven in in July and was hitting .321/.372/.705 with six homers and 20 driven in August when he went down. Basically, he had been a better version of the Ramírez who won the Silver Slugger Award and came in third in the MVP balloting in 2018, at least for those two months.
It’ll be interesting to see how rusty he is or if the surgery has sapped his power or bat speed. We’ll only have six games in which to see it, though.