Joe Girardi was ‘nervous’ about how hard Bryce Harper played in spring training
Joe Girardi was only able to spend a relatively short amount of time with Bryce Harper prior to the MLB season being postponed, but the new Philadelphia Phillies manager was beyond impressed with what he saw. In fact, Harper’s level of effort even made Girardi a bit uneasy at times.
In an interview with 97.5 The Fanatic’s Mike Missanelli this week, Girardi gushed about how Harper is “such a good person.” The manager then spoke about Harper’s work ethic and said the outfielder went so hard during one spring training game that Girardi wanted to dial him back.
“I was so impressed by him in spring training and his work ethic and how hard he plays,” Girardi said, per Destiny Lugardo of Phillies Nation. “I actually got nervous one day because he got a hit. He stole second. He stole third and I looked at Dusty Wathan, [the Phillies] third base coach, and said ‘tell him he can’t steal home. That’s enough.’”
Harper had eight hits in 16 Grapefruit League at-bats, so he looked like he had a chance to get off to a hot start to the season before it was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, it remains uncertain if there will even be baseball in 2020.
One of the reasons Harper has battled so many injuries throughout his career is because he has never been afraid to lay his body on the line. Any manager would want a player like that, and Girardi is now getting to see it first-hand.