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A year later: Harper 'more calm' (with more flow)

Arrieta feeling fine; Haseley in concussion protocol
@ToddZolecki
February 25, 2020

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Bryce Harper’s hair this spring is creeping into Jayson Werth territory. No cuts are scheduled. “I’m going to keep it going. Yeah, keep it flowing,” Harper said Tuesday afternoon at Spectrum Field. “Why not? We’ll see what happens.”

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Bryce Harper’s hair this spring is creeping into Jayson Werth territory.

No cuts are scheduled.

“I’m going to keep it going. Yeah, keep it flowing,” Harper said Tuesday afternoon at Spectrum Field. “Why not? We’ll see what happens.”

Harper made his Grapefruit League debut in a 13-6 loss to the Blue Jays in a split squad. He went 0-for-1 with one RBI, one walk, one sacrifice fly and one stolen base. A year ago at this time, Harper was sitting at home in Las Vegas while the Phillies, Dodgers and Giants made last-minute pushes and offers to sign the superstar right fielder.

Harper signed with the Phillies on Feb. 28.

“It’s definitely different,” Harper said about his life Tuesday compared to a year ago. “Coming into camp this year, it’s a lot better knowing you’re going to be here for the next 12 years. A lot better coming in. A lot more calm. Not as crazy. Not as many cameras or anything like that. Just talking to you guys, which is great. So just trying to enjoy that and go about it the right way and talk to the young guys as much as possible. [Mickey] Moniak, [Bryson] Stott, [Alec] Bohm, just trying to get to know them a little bit more each day. Because those are the guys that are going to help us hopefully this year and beyond that. So just trying to talk to them as much as possible and try to get to know them a little bit more.”

Harper wore a “Krew” headband Tuesday in honor of his son, who was born in August. He wore a Phillie Phanatic headband last season, turning it into a top seller.

Harper is a big Phanatic fan. So what does he think about the mascot’s new look? The Phillies and the original co-creators of the Phanatic are embroiled in a lawsuit regarding the Copyright Act. The Phillies made some changes to the Phanatic so they can continue to use the mascot in the event a settlement cannot be reached before the copyright expires on June 15.

The Phanatic has a different nose, eyebrows, hands, wings, tail, rear end, cap, shoes and socks.

“Hey, man,” Harper said. “Everybody needs a glam up sometimes. You know? Why not? I've got long hair right now. I'm always changing.”

Arrieta is feeling fine
Phillies right-hander Jake Arrieta allowed three runs in two innings in his spring debut. He is returning from season-ending right elbow surgery.

“I feel like it’s coming out easier,” Arrieta said. “There’s no restriction. It’s coming out nice, the way that it should.”

Haseley in concussion protocol
Center fielder Adam Haseley slammed his head into the turf trying to make a catch in center field in the third inning of Tuesday's game. He left the game. He suffered a cut on his forehead from his sunglasses. The glasses left a mark around his eye, too.

The Phillies said he is in concussion protocol. An update could come Wednesday.

Extra bases
Phillies prospect Jhailyn Ortiz hit a grand slam against the Blue Jays in the seventh inning. It was his second day in big league camp. The Phillies signed him for $4.2 million in the 2015-16 international signing period.

The Phillies beat the Pirates in the other half of their split squad in Bradenton, 6-2. Top prospect Alec Bohm went 2-for-3. Scott Kingery and Jean Segura each doubled. Left-hander Ranger Suárez pitched two scoreless innings in his spring debut. The Phillies said he is competing for a spot in the rotation, but it seems he is more likely to end up in the bullpen.

“I think you just have to see how it plays out,” manager Joe Girardi said. “No matter what, he needs to be built up in a sense because he is a multiple-inning guy who can give you four or five innings if you need it. But we're all interested in what it looks like, him as a starter. He's in the mix.”

Up next
Right-hander Zach Eflin is scheduled to make his spring debut Wednesday afternoon at 1:05 ET against the Twins in Fort Myers. Eflin is a strong bet to be the team’s No. 4 starter, although the Phillies have said he is competing for a job.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook .