According to Rob Thomson, Bryce Harper will start ‘at least’ one game at first base against the Milwaukee Brewers
According to Rob Thomson, Bryce Harper will finally make the move from the designated hitter spot to first base when the Phillies open up a three game series against the Milwaukee Brewers tomorrow.
Harper hasn’t played defense in a Major League Baseball game since April 16, 2022.
He is going to start “at least” one game against the Brewers at first base. When speaking on Sunday morning, Thomson declined to mention what game it will be, but “First Base Bryce” is incoming, which is huge for the Phillies if it works out in their favor.
Bryce Harper Home Run vs Padres
It’s no secret that the Phillies have been doing a lineup shuffle at first base this season in the absence of Rhys Hoskins. We have seen a variety of players take over duties, from Alec Bohm and Edmundo Sosa, to Darick Hall, Kody Clemens, and Drew Ellis.
Outside of Bohm, none of the players above have really been able to secure the position for the rest of the 2023 season.
Moving Harper to first base will free up the DH spot, which could then primarily be used by Kyle Schwarber. Cristian Pache headed back to the injured list yesterday to have a screw removed from his elbow, which prompted the Phillies to call up their No. 6 prospect Johan Rojas as an additional outfielder.
Note: Rojas had three hits, two RBI, and two runs scored in 11 at-bats in his debut four-game series against the Padres over the weekend.
With Harper at first, Schwarber will now be able to slide into the DH spot which really, was the primary position he was brought to Philadelphia to play, while Brandon Marsh can take over left field duties with Rojas in center field.
Plus, when looking ahead of a few weeks at the MLB Trade Deadline, Harper at first base could change the way the Phillies look to improve their roster for the final few months of the regular season.
The Phillies have been rumored in adding some infield help, specifically at first base, but if Harper can take over those duties, it will allow Dave Dombrowski and company to focus on adding a few more pitching arms rather than a lineup player.
Enjoy the day off. Brew Crew tomorrow night at Citizens Bank Park.