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June 02, 2021

Phillies injury updates: Bryce Harper, Didi Gregorius aren't close to returning

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Sad-Bryce-Harper_092920_usat Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports

Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper.

The Phillies stopped the bleeding in a big way Tuesday, exploding for a desperately needed 17-3 win over the Reds after losing their prior three games. 

In all, the struggling Phillies have lost 11 of their last 17 games and are four games back in the NL East after leading it for much of May. 

In large part, it's due to the usual issues: bullpen woes, defensive blunders, a lack of timely hitting and the rest. But the team is missing some key bats in the heart of the order, and you can only rely on Brad Miller, Matt Joyce and Travis Jankowski for so long.

Not including Roman Quinn, whose torn Achilles ended his season a few days ago, and JoJo Romero, who will miss the rest of 2021 as he gets elbow surgery, five would-be every day players (or rostered pitchers) are currently on the Phillies injured list and according to the team, none of them will be spending the minimum amount of time on the 10-day IL.

PlayerInjuryEarliest return
Bryce Harper ShoulderJune 4
Matt MooreBackJune 4
 Scott Kingery Concussion June 7
 Didi GregoriusElbow June 7 
Seranthony DominguezElbowSeptember 1

Harper, out since May 22, is technically eligible to return Wednesday. But that's wishful thinking.

“I wouldn’t plan on that,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said this week.

The Phillies will finish their set in Cincinnati before an off day Thursday. It seems possible (hence the June 4th date listed above) that he is able to return when the Phils are home to host the Nationals this coming weekend. Girardi says Harper has resumed hitting but it's unclear if a rehab start will be necessary.

As for Gregorius, his elbow injury has kept him from swinging a bat, making June 7th an optimistic projection for him. Nick Maton has fallen back to earth, as his batting average has cratered from .316 on May 16 to .263, after going hitless on June 1. Ronald Torreyes has been lights out as a reserve shortstop, but the Phils will not make the playoffs relying on journeymen backups and unproven prospects.

The Phillies will need to continue to tread water and hopefully will be able to get healthy, and put together some kind of run prior to the All-Star break and trade deadline this summer.

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