The Phillies haven't given an update on a potential return date for Harper, but the fact that he's now taking live swings is a great sign. Originally an early July return was expected for Harper. With each positive update though, that timeline creeps closer.
There's potential for a return in June or even earlier according to Jon Morosi.
The Phillies could definitely use Harper sooner rather than later. The once daunting Philly offense has looked like a shell of itself through the very early portions of the season. Though the Phillies are getting plenty of runners on base, they are struggling to drive runs in, something that Harper has done better than most during his career.
Harper's duties in the field were cut out after nine games in 2022 when he said he started to feel discomfort in his throwing elbow. He was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in mid-May but opted to wait until the offseason to get surgery. It turned out to be the right decision considering Harper's MVP-caliber numbers at the plate.
Harper's bid for back-to-back MVPs was cut short due to a fractured thumb in late June that kept him out of the lineup for two months. He returned in late August and struggled through the last month-plus of the regular season, but was on another planet in the playoffs.
Bryce Harper's bat helped the Phillies make the World Series last season. Philly is hoping his return in a couple of months, or sooner, will spark a similar run in 2023.