July 08, 2022
Nothing was going to stop Bryce Harper from getting an All-Star nod this summer.
The final fan vote was revealed Friday night, and despite being out for weeks with a broken thumb, the reigning NL MVP was the choice to be the league's designated hitter.
Obviously, though, he can't play.
Your first ever fan-elected designated hitter in the NL.— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) July 8, 2022
All-Star Bryce Harper. pic.twitter.com/6OCxjg81JJ
Powering through a UCL tear in his throwing arm and, at one point, a pretty gross-sounding hand blister, Harper was slashing a dominant .318 with 15 homers, 48 runs batted in, and a .985 OPS.
In the month of June alone, the 29-year old makeshift DH was hitting an astounding .359 with five homers and a 1.095 DPS while the Phillies went on a 19-8 run.
Unfortunately, a Blake Snell pitch to the hand on June 25 against the Padres brought Harper's surge to a screeching halt, suffering the thumb injury that would require surgery.
It was a huge blow to the Phillies' hopes of snapping a decade-long postseason drought, but Harper has vowed to return this season. Plus, Kyle Schwarber and Rhys Hoskins have been seriously picking up the slack in the meantime.
“I don’t want to hope or think about anything,” Harper told MLB.com earlier this week. “I just want to go day by day and be back when I can, whenever I feel healthy, whenever that is, to help this team win. If we’re in it, if we’re out of it, I’m going to come back and play no matter what, just so I know that I can go out there and play the game.
"I don’t want that to be my last day playing this year. No matter what the outcome, I’m going to come back and I’ll be playing so I can assure myself I can go out there and play the game at a high level that I want to. Like I said, even if we’re in it or we’re out of it, I’ll be back playing.”
It took four seasons in Philadelphia for Harper to finally make the All-Star Game as a Phillie, and of course, once he does, he can't participate.
Catcher J.T. Realmuto and starting pitcher Zack Wheeler were the Phillies' All-Star representatives last season in Colorado.
This time around, Wheeler, Aaron Nola, Schwarber, and, of late, Hoskins all have cases to be named NL reserves, which will be announced this Sunday on ESPN at 5:30 p.m. ET.
This summer's All-Star Game is July 16 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
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