PHILADELPHIA — Bryce Harper played catch from a short distance for only a few minutes on Tuesday at Citizens Bank Park.
It was his first time throwing a baseball since April 19 in Colorado. Harper has not played right field since April 16 because of a mild strain in the flexor tendon in his right elbow. As Harper walked off the field on Tuesday, a reporter asked him how it went. Harper shook his head, chuckled, muttered something and returned to the clubhouse.
Phillies broadcaster Tom McCarthy said he spoke to Harper afterward. He got a clearer answer.
“He said it just didn’t feel right,” McCarthy said during the broadcast of Tuesday night’s game against the Rockies.
It is unclear what it means.
But before Harper threw on Tuesday, manager Joe Girardi said that Harper would not return to right field until May 3 at the earliest. In the meantime, Harper will continue to DH as he said the elbow injury does not affect his swing.
Harper originally injured the elbow making a throw to home plate on April 11. He played in right field two weekends ago in Miami, but he irritated the elbow after making a few more throws.
Asked last Friday if he is concerned this could linger throughout the season, Harper said, “I’m not sure. I’ve never dealt with arm pain or anything like that. Even when I was younger or anything. So I really don’t know. What they’ve been saying to me is just more, ‘We’ll take it day by day and see how you feel. And then once you feel like you can throw, we’ll test it out and go from there.’”
Harper said then that no anti-inflammatory injections are scheduled.
“No,” he said. “We’re not there.”