Philadelphia Phillies star Bryce Harper underwent Tommy John surgery in November, but team president Dave Dombrowski said the Phillies are not placing him on the 60-day injured list, according to Destiny Lugardo of Phillies Nation.
“We're going to keep our options open,” Dave Dombrowski said, according to Lugardo.
Harper played through a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow that he suffered in April of the 2022 season. He played in the designated hitter role after suffering the injury, as he was not able to play in the field. He was able to continue to participate with the Phillies last season because of the designated hitter rule being implemented in the National League.
Harper was a huge part of the Phillies' run to the World Series last season. The team fell short of a title, losing in six games to the Houston Astros, but the lineup with Harper proved to be dangerous enough to go on a run in October.
The Phillies not putting Harper on the 60-day IL keeps the door open for an earlier return than expected. If he were placed on the 60-day IL, he would not be able to return before May 29. However, with the way the Phillies are handling Harper, they have flexibility to reinsert him in the lineup if he is ready to return sooner.
The Phillies are in one of the toughest divisions in baseball, as the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets are also contenders in the National League. Getting Harper back as soon as possible is vital for the Phillies if they want to beat out the Braves and Mets for the National League East title.