MLB, Rob Manfred Have No Time for Bryce Harper’s Elbow Brace

May 3, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Philadelphia Phillies designated hitter Bryce Harper (3) scores a run against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the ninth inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Baseball is going all in on the new pace of play rules that debuted at the beginning of the season.  The latest victim of the rules, returning Phillies’ slugger Bryce Harper. But no the way many expected.

A lot was made about Harper’s desire to return to the lineup and forgoing a trip to the minors for a rehab assignment.  The talk on Philadelphia sports radio centered around Harper’s need to his timing down, more accurately his pitch clock timing down.  In his two games back in the lineup, the notoriously slow Harper has had no issues with the pitch clock while in the batter’s box. 

But, Harper and the Phillies have run into a bit of a problem on the basepath.  

As you know, Harper is wearing a brace while running the bases to protect his surgically repaired elbow.  The slugger reached base five times on Wednesday but only wore the brace four times. Harper struggled to get the bulky brace on and, despite Nick Castellanos taking a timeout to give him more time, was unable to do so within baseball’s new pace of play clock.  

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