The Philadelphia Phillies are in the thick of the NL playoff race, and are getting closer to welcoming back slugger Bryce Harper.
Harper has not played since June 25, when he suffered a broken thumb after being hit by a pitch in a game against the San Diego Padres. He's been making progress lately though, and interim manager Rob Thomson told reporters Sunday that Harper will take batting practice tomorrow.
The 29-year-old outfielder/DH had pins removed from his thumb earlier this month and began hitting off a tee. Now, he's closing in on a minor-league rehab assignment.
Harper was slashing .318/.385/.599 with 15 home runs and 48 RBI in 64 games at the time of his thumb injury.
Even before getting hit in June, Harper had not been playing the outfield and was serving as the Phillies' primary designated hitter since injuring his elbow in mid-April. He is likely to continue in that role when he returns to the team in the coming weeks.
Philadelphia (63-50) enters today's game against the New York Mets in possession of the second NL wild card spot.