Two-time National League MVP Bryce Harper made his first appearance at Philadelphia Phillies Spring Training Wednesday. Today at 10am, he met with the media.
Harper is set to undergo a physical. Based on those results, he expects to have a better idea on a timeline for his return to the Phillies lineup.
The Phillies star underwent Tommy John surgery in November and the initial rough timetable projected him to be back as a designated hitter shortly before the All-Star break.
The 13 year deal with the Phillies ends when he is 38. Harper said, “I want to play well into my 40s.” He saw Manny Machado opt out of his contract with the Padres. Bryce didn’t want opt out.
“I wanted to let the organization and the fans know that I’m gonna be here a long time.”
Harper said he is still dry swinging, which means he’s taking swings without hitting a baseball. He is still comfortable with the initial timeline the Phillies gave for his return, around the All-Star break.
“It could be after. It could be before. We’re not going to rush it. We’re gonna be smart about it. We are thankful for the DH.”
Harper had a .286 average with 18 home run and 65 RBI in 99 games in 2022.
Philadelphia Phillies star Bryce Harper. Photo courtsey of John Clark – Twitter