Bryce Harper To Play Defense For First Time In Over 450 Days For Phillies, And At Position He Has Almost No MLB Experience

Videos by OutKick

Bryce Harper has benefitted greatly from the MLB adopting the universal DH. Now that the Philadelphia Phillies have the option, they use Harper almost exclusively in that slot.

But, according to their manager Rob Thomson, the team is going to deploy Harper at first base this week. Though he did not say which game or how often, this is the plan moving forward.

According to, “Whenever Harper takes the field at first, it will mark his first time playing defense in an MLB game since April 16, 2022, in Miami, when he played eight innings in right field. Harper has previously played first base twice in his MLB career, once in 2018 and once in 2021, each time for just one batter.”

The Philadelphia Phillies say Bryce Harper is going to play defense this week, something he hasn't done since last April in MLB.
The Philadelphia Phillies say Bryce Harper is going to play defense this week, something he hasn’t done since last April in MLB. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

If Harper plays the field on Tuesday, that would be 458 days between defensive appearances. His last appearance at first base — for one inning — came on May 8, 2021. That’s 801 days since his last time manning the position.

Speaking of things Bryce Harper might forget how to do, a funny thing happened on Saturday night.

Harper hit a home run against the San Diego Padres. It was just his fourth of the year and his first since May 25, a span of 51 days (I’m really enjoying the days in between dates calculator today).

Thanks to the long drought, Harper forgot his home run routine. He always points to the bullpen while rounding the bases. But he didn’t do that on Saturday.

Thankfully, he remembered after getting back to the dugout. Then, he did what any good teammate would do.

He called the bullpen to apologize for snubbing them.

The Phillies are hoping he doesn’t forget how to catch and throw a baseball. It’s been much longer since he did that in a game than hitting a home run.

Stay tuned to OutKick this week for ALL the Bryce Harper defensive updates.

Follow Dan Zaksheske on X – formerly known as Twitter: @RealDanZak

Written by Dan Zaksheske

Dan began his sports media career at ESPN, where he survived for nearly a decade. Once the Stockholm Syndrome cleared, he made his way to Outkick. He is secure enough in his masculinity to admit he is a cat-enthusiast with three cats, one of which is named “Brady” because his wife wishes she were married to Tom instead of him.

Leave a Reply