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Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper sustained a broken left thumb after being hit by a 97 mph pitch in the fourth inning Saturday night against the San Diego Padres.
The Phillies announced that the reigning National League MVP will be out indefinitely and will undergo further evaluation in the next few days.
“I’ve never had a hand injury like this,” Harper said. “Never broken anything in my life. This is new to me, so I’m just gonna go day by day, see kind of where we’re at and see the specialist in Philly. And if I do need to see another specialist somewhere, then I will.”
The Phillies outfielder checked his swing as the fastball from Blake Snell rode high inside before hitting his left hand.
Harper fell to the ground and was in visible pain as he held the hand while on his knees for several minutes with Phillies head trainer Paul Buchheit attending to him.
“I kind of wish it would’ve hit me in the face. I don’t break bones in my face,” Harper said. “I can take 98 to the face, but I can’t take 97 to the thumb. Yeah, I was kind of in protection mode a little bit trying to get my hand up there and not let it hit me again. It’s just a bummer. I am really bummed out.”
ESPN reports that Harper missed a few games last year when he was hit in the face by a fastball from St. Louis’ Genesis Cabrera.
Phillies general manager Dave Dombrowski said it was too early to determine if surgery will be needed and mentioned he wasn’t sure what type of fracture Harper had.
“We will put him on the injured list [Sunday],” Dombrowski said. “I was concerned at first he got hit in the face. I was concerned right off the bat because he is a tough guy and he walked off the field immediately.”
Harper was serving as the Phillies’ designated hitter in the game. After the injury, he was replaced by Johan Camargo in Philadelphia’s 4-2 win.
Dombrowski said Harper isn’t really replaceable, but the team will be in a position where guys will have to step up.
Harper is hitting .318 with 15 home runs, 48 RBIs and a .985 OPS this season in 64 games despite a small tear in the UCL of his right elbow.
“I don’t know how long he is going to be out at this point,” Dombrowski said. “I am hopeful he will be back at some point. We still have a lot of good hitters in the lineup. … The Braves won the World Series last year without [Ronald] Acuna.”