Bryce Harper exits after being hit in face by pitch
Bryce Harper was struck in the face by a 97 mph fastball. Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

In a scary development, Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper left Wednesday evening’s game against the Cardinals after he was struck in the face by a 97 mph fastball from St. Louis reliever Génesis Cabrera (via Matt Gelb of the Athletic). Harper was bleeding but left the field under his own power and was replaced on the bases by Matt Joyce.

It’s obviously far too early to know if Harper will be forced to miss any time. The 28-year-old is off to an incredible start to the season, mashing at a .321/.448/.615 clip with six home runs over his first 96 plate appearances. The left-handed-hitting slugger entered Wednesday’s game with a 190 wRC+ that ranked eighth among qualifiers.

Brad Miller and Joyce would seemingly be the likeliest candidates to pick up starts in right field if Harper winds up needing some time off. Both have been productive offensive players within the past couple seasons and Miller, in particular, is off to a strong start at the dish this year.

This article first appeared on MLB Trade Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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