Bryce Harper tests his arm, faces an elite pitcher in first inning Monday


Updated: 2:15 p.m.

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Bryce Harper got his first game reps of the spring in right field Monday, batting third for the Phillies for the second time in three days.

Harper's first defensive chance came in the top of the first on a sacrifice fly by Avisail Garcia with runners on second and third. Harper made a strong, accurate throw to third base but Kevin Kiermaier beat the tag by a step. One of the rare times you'll hear a crowd "Ooh" and "Ahh" over a routine flyball.

Harper's first plate appearance Monday came against reigning AL Cy Young Blake Snell, who held lefties to a .135 batting average and .191 OBP last season.

Harper saw six pitches and struck out looking on a 96 mph fastball.

Harper's second plate appearance came in the fourth inning. He walked on a full count against left-hander Jalen Beeks. His PA was preceded by back-to-back home runs from Andrew McCutchen and Jean Segura.

Harper's seen 22 pitches in his four plate appearances this spring.

The Phils' plan this week is to play Harper on Wednesday night in Tampa against the Yankees and Friday afternoon in Clearwater against the Blue Jays, then go from there.

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