The Philadelphia Phillies, at 36-33 and with lots of money invested in veteran players, should be considered a win-now team.
Whether they are contenders or pretenders is another story: it may be too early to tell.
However, they are, by definition and philosophy, a win-now team.
For a win-now team, however, they are extremely dependent on one particular player: Bryce Harper.
The 2021 NL MVP couldn’t play in the last three games because of infected blisters in his right hand.
He is now ready to return, as the team clearly isn’t the same without him.
“Bryce Harper is back today after missing 3 games Phillies only scored 5 total runs without the MVP,” John Clark of NBC Philadelphia tweeted.
Bryce Harper is back today after missing 3 games
Phillies only scored 5 total runs without the MVP pic.twitter.com/PdOGupQNBI
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) June 22, 2022
The Phillies Offense Just Isn’t The Same Without Their MVP
Fortunately, he is ready to rock after the absence, one that included a nasty, albeit short injury.
Harper is hitting .326 with 48 runs scored, 15 home runs, 48 RBI, and eight steals on the season as a whole so far.
His 1.013 OPS is indicative that he wants to make another run at the MVP award.
He has already won two: one in 2015 with the Washington Nationals, and one with the Phillies last season.
He is a top-ten hitter in MLB at the peak of his physical abilities, so he should have a shot.
He hasn’t enjoyed full health so far, but as long as he is on the field, he is the best player on his team by a considerable margin.