The Phillies Didn't Pay Bryce Harper to Hit Like This, and He Knows It

May 16, 2019 - 11:27 am

(94WIP) Bryce Harper is struggling at the plate, but the Philadelphia Phillies are confident he'll get through this slump.

Harper is off to the worst first quarter of a season in his career, hitting just .220 with 57 strikeouts through 42 games,

In his past three games, at home against the Milwaukee Brewers, Harper is 1-for-10 with six strikeouts and two walks. Over the last seven days, he is 3-for-23 with 12 strikeouts; over the past 16 days, he is 8-for-50 with one homer, five RBIs and 21 strikeouts.

"I went through this last year at the beginning of the year," Harper told Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show on Thursday, following a 1-for-4 performance in a 5-2 loss on Wednesday night.

"Did I think I was going to go through it again right now? No, I didn't. But in sports, thing happen, it's part of the journey, it's part of the life. Of course, I don't want to struggle. I don't want to go out there and go 0-for-4 and punch out two or three times. I mean, that's not who I am, that's not how I want to be. I gotta get better, I gotta be better, and everybody knows that. I know that myself and when I walk off the field at night, the game is over. I gotta turn the page and get back to the next day and I think that's the beautiful thing about baseball."

Phillies second-year manager Gabe Kapler said he is not worried about Harper's slump.

"It's a grind right now for Bryce, but there's nobody better equipped to handle this than Bryce Harper," Kapler said on Thursday's 94WIP Morning Show. "Even though he's gone through a struggle, he's still played his ass off on defense and he's given the highest level of effort and energy on the bases. He's going to produce a lot of wins for us with home runs, with walks, with doubles, with a higher batting average. It's just a matter of time before a talent like that and a character like that shows up, and begins to carry the club."

Harper has made four diving catches in the Brewers. But he knows he has to hit.

"Big thing for me is that I gotta hit," Harper said. "I enjoy hitting, I enjoy going to the plate and doing those things. I mean, I just want to win ballgames man, with the Phillies on my chest and with the guys that we do have in our clubhouse. We have a special group, we have a special team, and I look forward to going out there and playing the game the right way every single day and trying to get the job done."

To bid on "Koffee with Kap" and "Kid's Wiffle Ball Party at The Yard with Bryce Harper," check out the 2019 Phillies Phantastic Auction.