Phillies place Harper, Schwarber on 10-day injured list

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A bullet moves faster than the speed of sound, so it’s not actually possible to dodge one. If it was, though, the Phillies would be pretty good at it by now. They’ve had plenty of practice.

The latest examples came Friday afternoon when it was announced that first baseman Bryce Harper (left hamstring strain) and designated hitter Kyle Schwarber (left groin strain) have been placed on the 10-day injured list.

Johan Rojas was recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley and Kody Clemens returned from his rehab assignment with the IronPigs and was reinstated from the IL. Both started against the Marlins, Rojas in center and Clemens at first base.

For the foreseeable future, then, conspicuously absent from the lineup that went into play Friday night tied with the Dodgers for the National League lead in runs scored will be three stalwarts: Harper, Schwarber and catcher J.T. Realmuto, who is recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery.

Rob Thomson focused on the fact that it could be whole lot worse. “They’re pretty good players,” the manager observed wryly. “But what are you gonna do? It’s out of our control now. We’ve just got to go out and play.

“For both of them it’s very mild. Harper’s is similar to (Brandon) Marsh’s. And Kyle’s is very, very mild. We don’t have a timeline but, hopefully, 10 to 14 days. I don’t expect them to be out long. We’re very fortunate. We absolutely dodged a bullet here.”

That’s a metaphor Thomson has had the opportunity to invoke frequently this season. After Marsh pulled his hamstring he missed just eight games. When lefthander Ranger Suarez was struck on his pitching hand by a line drive against the Cardinals, it first appeared that he might be seriously injured. He didn’t miss a turn. Ditto third baseman Alec Bohm, who was hit on the hand by a pitch by a 98 mile an hour fastball from Mets closer Edwin Diaz. . .and started the next night.

Don’t think that’s the baseball gods smiling on the Phillies? Tell that to the Braves who have lost their best pitcher, Spencer Strider, and best hitter, Ronald Acuna Jr., for the season. Try telling that to the Dodgers, who will be without Mookie Betts for six to eight weeks after he fractured his hand when hit by a pitch.

Harper came up limping running out a grounder while making the final out in Thursday night’s loss to the Marlins. Schwarber tweaked his groin while planting to make a throw to the infield in the eighth.

“Obviously, I’m bummed to have to go on the IL,” said Harper, who had just been named the NL’s starting first baseman in the July 16 All-Star Game by virtue of being the league’s leading vote-getter. “Never want that to happen, obviously.

“But it was the best decision for the team. Hopefully I’ll get back the smartest way possible. The quickest way as well. I don’t like to put timetables on myself. I want to beat every timeline out there. Obviously, next man up mentality. I think we’ve done a great job of that all year long. So pony up, cowboy up.”

Bryson Stott is expected to lead off in what has been Schwarber’s spot. Clemens projects to get most of the starts at first against righthanded pitching with Bohm moving over from third when a lefty starts. The DH spot will be used to get regulars off their feet. And Rojas, a defensive standout who was hitting .235 when optioned, will play a lot.

“As I’ve always stated, if Rojas is here he’s going to play most of the time,” Thomson said. “He did everything we wanted him to do (while at Lehigh Valley). See pitches. Grind out at bats. Use the field. Use the speed game with bunting. Cut down his swing. He did all that and has proven to us that he’s got the aptitude and physical capabilities to do that.

“Stott has always been sport of the prototypical leadoff hitter, but Schwarber’s been there. So I think he’ll fill in really well.”

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