Rehabbing Philadelphia Phillies designated hitter Bryce Harper went 2-for-3 with 2 HRs, 4 RBIs, and a 2 BBs on Tuesday for the Lehigh Valley. The IronPigs defeated Gwinnett 10-5 but more importantly the Phillies’ slugger looked comfortable.
The Phillies slugger spoke after the game about his first true at-bat’s in nearly two months.
“I have to understand that I need to see pitches. Going out there at the big-league level, it’s tough to just get at-bats and nobody really cares. Everybody cares up there. So if I see pitches down here and it’s not that great — maybe I play two days and take a day off or three days and take a day off. That’s great down here. Up there, I can’t play two days and take a day off. So it’s being able to be down here and controlling each situation we’re in. If I need to come out of the game after my third at-bat, I can do that.”
Harper was reportedly going to stay the week with the IronPigs and meet with the Phils’ over the weekend to evaluate the situation. After the his two-homer outburst, fans and players were hoping for a quicker return from “MV3” but that doesn’t seem likely.
Tonight was great, right? But at the same time, I need the at-bats. I need to be able to see pitches. See different guys. See different angles. Understanding how my body’s going to react. What’s my thumb going to be like.”
Harper and the ‘Pigs continue a six-game homestand against Gwinnett on Wednesday night at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown. First pitch is slated for 7:05 PM.
Notes: Quotes from various members of the media and the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. A version of this story first appeared on Section 247 Sports, reprinted with permission.