Bryce Harper could play in all 162 games for Phillies this season
The Philadelphia Phillies did not pay Bryce Harper a ton of money to have him miss games.
Even though Harper is going through somewhat of a slump, Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said on Wednesday that he is not planning to give the outfielder any days off. In fact, he said there is a chance Harper plays in all 162 games this season.
“There’s a very real chance that Bryce will play 162 games this year,” Kapler said Wednesday, via Philly.com’s Scott Lauber. “If we discover he needs a blow at some point, it’s going to be something that he and I work on together.”
Harper was batting .302 on April 13. His averaged has dropped over 70 points since then as he’s now down to .231 after an 0-fer on Wednesday. His strikeouts are up since then too as he’s averaging 1.3 per game.
Harper has long been a streaky hitter — the kind who can carry his team when hot or leave lots of runners on when he’s cold. Sometimes managers like to give players a day off during a slump to mentally refresh, but Kapler clearly prefers to let Harper work his way out of it.
Despite the slump, Harper still has eight doubles, six home runs and 23 walks and has done enough damage to have an OPS at .848.