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Bryce Harper fractures left thumb

Bryce Harper fractures left thumb

SAN DIEGO — The Phillies’ season changed with one pitch Saturday night at Petco Park.

Bryce Harper fractured his left thumb when he was hit by Blake Snell’s 97.2 mph fastball in the fourth inning. Harper does not know how much time he will miss or if he will require surgery. He will have a better sense of that upon following further evaluation in Philadelphia.

Any time missed is a major blow. There is no replacing the reigning NL MVP.

“Things happen for a reason,” Harper said. “Everybody says that. This reason sucks right now, but at the same time, it is what it is. I’ve got to be positive. I’ve got to be positive for the guys in here. I know they’ll pick up the slack. I’m just really bummed for the organization, the guys, the city of Philadelphia, the fans. I love running out there and playing every day. Definitely bummed.”

Harper was having one of the best seasons of his career, despite playing since mid-April with a torn UCL in his right arm. He was batting .318 with 15 home runs, 48 RBIs and a .984 OPS. He ranks fifth in the NL in batting average, sixth in on-base percentage (.385) and second in slugging percentage (.599).

The Phillies will place Harper on the 10-day injured list on Sunday. Triple-A Lehigh Valley outfielder Mickey Moniak will take his place on the roster. They hope he arrives in time for the series finale Sunday.

“It’s a tough pill to swallow,” Phillies interim manager Rob Thomson said. “But they’re not going to cancel any games. We’ve got to play.”

“It’s devastating, to say the least,” Castellanos said. “He’s having an All-Star, MVP-caliber year. To lose him for any amount of time is too long. We’re all going to have to step up. Me, definitely included. To carry the weight that we’re going to be missing, it’s got to be done.

“We are where we are and we’ve won the games that we have, and I still think that there’s a better version of Rhys [Hoskins], I think there’s a better version…

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