Philadelphia Phillies star Bryce Harper's speedy return after undergoing Tommy John surgery has been one of the primary storylines in MLB over the past week. Boston Red Sox's SP Chris Sale, who's also undergone the surgery, reacted to Harper's rapid recovery, per Pete Abraham.
“I want to talk to him about that,” Sale said. “He’s making us look bad. But good on him. Good on their staff. You don’t get in that position without working your a** off. I have a lot of respect for him.”
Most players who receive Tommy John surgery are forced to miss an entire season. Bryce Harper, meanwhile, returned after just 160 days. It should be noted that the majority of players who receive the surgery happen to be pitchers. Returning as a pitcher from Tommy John is obviously much different than a position player, especially since Harper will likely be confined to the DH role moving forward. He could receive some reps at first base though.
Chris Sale is obviously pumped for Harper's quick return. He is far too familiar with elbow injuries, and injuries in general for that matter. The left-hander is one of the best pitchers in baseball when healthy, but has spent no shortage of time on the injured list. Many players around MLB who've dealt with elbow injuries are likely reaching out to Bryce Harper following what has transpired.
It would be a tremendous upgrade for baseball if there was a way to consistently speed up the Tommy John recovery process for pitchers.