10:28PM: If losing Harper wasn’t enough, J.T. Realmuto is also day-to-day after re-aggravating his left wrist injury, manager Joe Girardi told The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Scott Lauber and other reporters. Realmuto was replaced by a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning of tonight’s game. Realmuto missed two games earlier this month with what was described as an issue with his left hand. Girardi is doubtful either Harper (whose shoulder problem emerged in Saturday’s game) or Realmuto will be available tomorrow.
8:55PM: Bryce Harper left the Phillies’ game with the Blue Jays tonight due to right shoulder soreness, the Phils announced. Harper struck out swinging in both of his at-bats, and he was replaced by Scott Kingery in right field when the Phillies took the field for the bottom of the fourth inning.
This is the latest injury to hamper Harper this season, as he has previously missed time due to back soreness, a balky wrist, and (most concerning) after being hit in the face by a Genesis Cabrera fastball back on April 28. Harper has missed eight games due to these issues but hasn’t had to hit the injured list, and thus hasn’t any major interruption in what has been an outstanding season for the 28-year-old.
Harper is hitting .313/.442/.571 with seven home runs over his first 138 plate appearances, good for a spectacular 173 wRC+. While there’s obviously a long way to go in the 2021 season (and an injury could change the equation for Harper entirely), this represents Harper’s best wRC+ since his 197 number in his 2015 MVP season.
It remains to be seen if Harper’s injury will result in an IL stint, and naturally there isn’t an easy way for the Phils to truly replace his offensive production. Mickey Moniak, Travis Jankowski, and Ryan Cordell are among the top outfield options at Triple-A, and Kingery is available on the big league bench. Roman Quinn and Matt Joyce are both on the IL themselves, further thinning Philadelphia’s outfield depth.