The offseason is upon us.  After the Phillies finished an incredible Postseason run with a loss in the World Series, the club's attention turned back to their 2021 National League MVP and 2022 NLCS MVP, Bryce Harper.  Harper had been playing most of the season with a torn UCL ligament in his elbow that kept him to serving as the club's designated hitter.  The final verdict is in for what the final plan is for the elbow.

NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury

The Phillies reported that they hope that Harper is back in the Phillies lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break.  He could potentially return to the outfield by the end of the season if all goes well, the Phillies said.

While the Phillies will lose Harper for some time, the club will be better for the long-term by having Harper back in right field.  The 2022 defense was challenged by having to play Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber in the outfield every day.  Further, J.T. Realmuto and Rhys Hoskins lost opportunities for some time at designated hitter.

The Phillies could use any of the aforementioned as designated hitter to start 2023, with Darick Hall getting some more opportunities at the big league level.  The Phillies could get some at bats for Matt Vierling, now that Brandon Marsh occupies center field full-time.

Or, the Phillies could get Alec Bohm out of the field at times and give Edmundo Sosa some at bats, depending on who ultimately joins the middle infield.

In other words, the Phillies have options.

But the best option would of course would be to have Harper in right field and batting second, third, or fourth. That day will come at some point in 2023.  But Phillies fans will have to wait.

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