WASHINGTON -- Hitters get blisters and calluses on their hands all the time. It's an occupational hazard.
Bryce Harper has had many over the years, but never one like this.
"So, the blister has healed," he said after missing a second straight game Sunday. "It's an infection underneath it."
Harper said he had this particular blister -- it's above the palm and below his left index finger -- on his left hand for a couple of weeks. It started bothering him more Friday night, but not enough where he couldn't come off the bench and stroke a two-run, pinch-hit double in the second game of a doubleheader win over Washington. That night, however, it swelled up, preventing him from swinging a bat and keeping him out of the Phillies' lineup Saturday and Sunday.
Harper said he was being treated with an antibiotic. Things are improving. Monday's off day will help. It's possible he could be ready to be the Phillies' DH on Tuesday night in Texas, but not certain.
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"We're trying to wait it out and see how much better it can be in the next few days," he said. "We'll see where I'm at Tuesday. It's an infection. Whatever you think an infection to be, that's where I'm at right now, so it's not good."
The Phillies won four of five from Washington with Harper missing more than half the series. He's a big loss, ranking second in the NL in OPS (1.013), third in batting average (.326) and sixth in RBIs (48).
"I want to be out there playing with my team," he said. "Hopefully we can knock it out in the next couple of days."
Harper isn't the only important health check the Phillies will have when they get back to work Tuesday. More will be known that day on the condition of Zach Eflin's ailing right knee. The issue has forced him to leave his last two starts after six and two innings, respectively. The right-hander's turn in the rotation comes up again Saturday.