Bryce Harper and the Phillies are officially back, and he won’t be the problem in Philadelphia.
Harper’s Phillies got off to a curious start in spring training, losing handily to the Detroit Tigers and then tying the Baltimore Orioles, 4-4, in their first two contests of the exhibition campaign. But, now that Harper is back in tow, these Phillies might finally be rounding into form.
On his first at-bat of the spring, Harper destroyed a fastball from Chad Kuhl into the left-center field bleachers. That’s what happens when you leave a fastball up to one of the best power hitters in the game, my friends.
Bryce Harper and the Phillies still have one major problem
The Phillies made some improvements to their bullpen this offseason, but until we see that reworked unit in action, it’s tough to believe they’ll be vastly improved from their record-worst campaign in 2020. The shortened 60-game season was strange for all of baseball, and led to some statistically awful years from a few of the game’s best.
But an entire bullpen? That signals more of an institutional failure, and one the Phillies must correct under Dave Dombrowski’s leadership moving forward.