Bryce Harper Returns to Phillies' Lineup After Ankle Injury Scare vs. Yankees

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2019

Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper high-fives teammates after being taken out during the third inning of a spring training baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Clearwater, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

Philadelphia Phillies star Bryce Harper will return to the lineup for Sunday's spring training game against the New York Yankees after being hit on the ankle by a pitch during Friday's clash with the Toronto Blue Jays.

"I wish I would've dodged the baseball," Harper said Saturday, per MLB.com. "Definitely could have been a lot worse, but felt good today coming in, was a little sore."

Injuries sidelined Harper on a few occasions during his seven years with the Washington Nationals. He was limited to just 100 games in 2014 because of a torn ligament in his left thumb, and a hyperextended knee caused him to make just 111 appearances in 2017.

The injury scare came just two weeks after the 26-year-old signed a record 13-year, $330 million deal with Philadelphia in late February.

Harper hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 home runs and 100 RBI during his final season in Washington.

The 2015 National League MVP was just one of many major offseason splashes made by Philadelphia during the offseason. The team also acquired 2018 All-Star J.T. Realmuto, 2013 NL MVP Andrew McCutchen, two-time All-Star Jean Segura and 2011 All-Star David Robertson.

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Those additions gave the Phillies one of the deepest lineups in baseball, adding to a starting nine that already included Rhys Hoskins, Odubel Herrera and Maikel Franco, all of whom mashed 20-plus dingers last year.

Nick Williams (a career .269 hitter entering 2019) would likely be an option to see more time in the outfield should Harper miss any additional time during his first year in Philly.

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