Phillies Reinstate Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber; Designate David Dahl For Assignment

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The Phillies announced today that both first baseman Bryce Harper and designated hitter Kyle Schwarber have been reinstated from the injured list. In corresponding moves, infielder/outfielder Kody Clemens was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley while outfielder David Dahl was designated for assignment.

The Phils had to subtract two big bats from their lineup when both Harper and Schwarber landed on the 10-day IL back on June 28, Harper due to a left hamstring strain and Schwarber due to a left groin strain. Thankfully, both are now back after just a minimum stay on the shelf with the club managing to go 5-4 without those two.

But to get them back onto the roster, the club is moving on from Dahl. He seemed to be engineering a nice comeback story as of about a month ago, but the magic faded. After several years of injury struggles, he had to settle for a minor league deal with the Phillies in February and then demolished Triple-A pitching. He hit 12 home runs in 43 games for the IronPigs and produced a slash of .340/.416/.660 in that time.

He was selected up to the big league club in the first week of June as Brandon Marsh went on the injured list. He seemed to be carrying the good vibes over with a home run in his first game and then another in his third contest of the year, but things have tailed off significantly since then as he has a dismal line of .154/.196/.231 in his 56 most recent plate appearances. He has more than five years of service time and can’t be optioned without his consent, so the Phils have been forced to bump him off the 40-man entirely.

He’ll now be in DFA limbo for a maximum of seven days. Since waivers can take 48 hours, that means the Phils could take five days to try to find a trade partner. Dahl was once a solid regular with the Rockies, slashing .297/.346/.521 in 240 games from 2016 to 2019, but the injury bug has bit him hard since then. He has suffered a lacerated spleen that led to the organ needing to be removed entirely, as well as a stress fracture in his ribcage, a broken foot, a high ankle sprain, a shoulder strain, multiple back injuries and a quad strain.

He has received 390 plate appearances in the majors since the end of the 2019 season but has hit just .200/.237/.318 in those, bouncing to the Rangers, Padres and Phillies. That’s clearly unsatisfactory production but Dahl has the past track record and the recent run of success in Triple-A to start this year. If any club believed in him and gave him a chance, he could be retained via arbitration for the 2025 season. If he were to pass through waivers unclaimed, he has enough service time to reject an outright assignment and elect free agency.

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