Harper (hamstring), Schwarber (groin) placed on 10-day IL

June 29th, 2024

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies placed both (left hamstring strain) and (left groin strain) on the 10-day injured list prior to Friday night’s 2-0 win over the Marlins -- but the news could have been much worse.

“We dodged a bullet,” manager Rob Thomson said. “It's very mild; both of them. … So hopefully, 10-14 days. We don't have a timeline, but I don't expect them to be out long.”

In the meantime, the club reinstated infielder from the injured list and recalled outfielder from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to fill the vacancies on the active roster.

Starting with Friday night’s game against the Marlins, the Phillies have 15 games remaining before the All-Star break. The earliest the duo could return is July 9, when Philadelphia opens a six-game homestand against the Dodgers and the A’s leading into the break.

Of course, the Phillies could hold them out until after the break to give them an extra 7-10 days if the pair isn't healing as quickly as expected. But if Harper and/or Schwarber are ready, the Phils could ease them back into action leading up to the Midsummer Classic, then use that four-day break as extra recovery time.

"I think Schwarber and Harper, there's a chance -- a good chance -- they'll come back before the All-Star break,” Thomson said. “But having said that, we want to make sure they're completely healed.”

Added Harper: “I don't want to put timelines on anything. I'm not that type of person. But as you guys know, I want to beat every timeline out there. So I’m just going to try to come back as quick as possible, but the smartest way, as well.”

Harper and Schwarber join an increasingly crowded injured list that already features catcher J.T. Realmuto, who is recovering from right knee surgery. Realmuto hit off a tee on Friday and is progressing well, but unlike Harper and Schwarber, he’s more likely to return after the All-Star break.

That trio has combined for 44 homers and 127 RBIs this season. Entering Friday, that accounted for 45% of the Phillies’ home runs and 32% of their RBIs.

“Yeah, they're pretty good players; they sure are,” Thomson said. “But what are you going to do? It's out of our control now and we've just got to go out and play.”

With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few of the key questions facing the Phillies in the absence of their stars.

Who will play first base?

Clemens started at first base on Friday and will likely continue to do so against right-handed starters in Harper’s absence, but things will look a bit different against lefties.

Similar to last season before Harper took over first-base duties, Thomson is likely to slide Alec Bohm across the diamond to first base and start the right-handed-hitting Edmundo Sosa at third base against southpaws.

“Next-man-up mentality -- I think we've done a great job of that all year long,” Harper said. “Pony up, cowboy up, play the game.”

How will the DH spot be used?

While Schwarber has been locked into the everyday DH role, his absence will allow Thomson some more flexibility in that spot.

On Friday, that meant getting Nick Castellanos a rare day at DH. Castellanos has started all 82 games this season -- and all but one came in right field (he was also the DH on May 13). With Castellanos out of the lineup, Brandon Marsh got the start in right with Rojas in center and Whit Merrifield in left.

Over the next few series, expect Thomson to rotate that DH spot among guys like Castellanos, Trea Turner, Alec Bohm and Bryson Stott. Recalling Rojas, who was demoted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on June 17, gives Thomson more potential outfield combinations.

“That's why we wanted Rojas out here,” Thomson said. “Not only did he prove to us that he did all of the things that we asked him to do, but he gives us a little more flexibility.”

Speaking of Rojas, he will get regular playing time for the time being. The 23-year-old went 13-for-34 (.382) with one homer and six stolen bases in eight games with Lehigh Valley.

“As I've always stated,” Thomson said, “if he's here, he's going to play most of the time.”

Who will hit leadoff?

Stott got the first crack at hitting leadoff – a spot he’s not entirely unfamiliar with. He primarily filled that role over the first two months last season when Schwarber was hitting third while Harper recovered from Tommy John surgery.

Using Stott as the leadoff hitter also allows Turner to stay in his usual No. 2 spot, while Bohm bumped up to No. 3. Marsh hit cleanup and Castellanos hit fifth on Friday.

“Right now, it's Stott,” Thomson said. “He's always been sort of a prototypical leadoff hitter for us, but Schwarber's been there. So I think he'll fill in really well.”