Bryce Harper injury: Phillies outfielder placed on IL with forearm contusion

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Girardi on why he wasn't truthful about Harper's injury

Phillies come clean, put Harper on the injured list originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

So, Bryce Harper is hurting, after all.

The Phillies placed their rightfielder on the 10-day injured list Tuesday afternoon and activated outfielder Roman Quinn from the IL.

Harper has battled problems with his right shoulder and left wrist over the past few weeks. His assignment to the IL is for a left forearm contusion, the team said. Manager Joe Girardi said the issue was in the area of Harper's wrist.

"Some people say forearm," Girardi said. "I don't know. I guess it would be kind of both."

Harper has been slumping lately with no hits and 10 strikeouts in his last 16 at-bats. He sat out two straight games on Sunday and Monday with Girardi saying both days that Harper was OK medically. Both days, Girardi said he simply wanted to give Harper a couple of days off.

"He's been scuffling and sometimes a couple of days off helps a player," Girardi told reporters during Monday's pregame media availability. "That's the reason."

Girardi said something similar to broadcaster Scott Franzke on the pregame radio show Monday.

Franzke followed up by saying, "Not a health issue?"

"No," Girardi said.

Now, it's clear that Harper was out both days with a health issue.

"It cropped up Saturday," Girardi said after Harper went on the IL before Tuesday's game against the Marlins in Miami. "On Sunday morning, we talked. He called me and said his wrist was sore. I gave him the day off, (but) didn't really want (Boston manager Alex) Cora to know I wasn't going to use Bryce that day."

Managers telling lies and half-truths to reporters — and by extension, the fans — for strategic reasons is a tradition almost as old as the game itself.

It would be fair to view Girardi's medical updates with some skepticism going forward.

"There's a distinct advantage if I tell you a guy's wrist is hurt to the other manager and the idea here is to win games," Girardi said. "It's kind of like me telling you who's available in the bullpen and not available. I don't like doing that because I don't want Donny (Mattingly, the Marlins' manager) to know who I might use or not use. I understand you want to know, but there are distinct advantages that I can give another club if they know everything that's going on over here. So, I'm sorry that I had to do that but we're trying to win games and he's just not ready to go. I thought he'd be ready on Monday or Tuesday. He's not. So, we decided to IL him 

"I'm sorry. I don't want to give the other club a distinct advantage, but there's some times I've just got to do what I have to do for our club."

Harper first hurt his wrist April 28 in St. Louis when he was struck in the face by a 97-mph fastball. Amazingly, Harper suffered no injury or broken bones to his face. That ball, however, ricocheted off his left wrist and caused a contusion. 

"This is kind of the same thing," Girardi said. "A bruise, a pocket of swelling, inflammation and it creeped back up. I can't tell you why, but it did, and we have to deal with it."

Harper, who turns 29 in October, has battled several nagging injuries over the past year, including lower-back soreness last season and back and shoulder stiffness this season.

"I think it's pretty normal as you start to rack up games in your career," Girardi said of the nagging injuries.

That's hardly a comforting thought considering Harper has a decade remaining on his 13-year, $330 million contract.

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