Phillies activate Bryce Harper from IL

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The Phillies are getting a big bat back ahead of Saturday’s game against the Nationals.

The team announced Saturday morning that Bryce Harper has been activated off the IL and is batting third in the starting lineup. Harper hasn’t played since being placed on the IL with a forearm contusion on May 25.

Manager Joe Girardi said Friday that Harpers wasn’t ready to return, but thoughts on that have clearly changed. His return comes at a time when Philadelphia sorely needs it due to other injuries in the lineup, like Didi Gregorius and Scott Kingery.

Harper is putting together a solid season for the Phillies, batting .274 with seven home runs before going down with an injury. He had struggled at the plate before hitting the IL, logging two hits in his last 25 plate appearances, which could be attributed to his nagging injury that eventually landed him on the IL.

The Phillies also placed Hector Neris on the paternity list.