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Bryce Harper out at least three days with calf injury

Mar 9, 2012, 6:24 PM EDT

Bryce Harper AP

Bryce Harper‘s bid to make the Nationals at the tender age of 19 could be derailed by a calf injury that will sideline him for “at least three days,” manager Davey Johnson said Friday.

Harper woke up with tightness in his left calf Thursday and was scratched from the day’s lineup. He missed a second game Friday.

The Nationals have indicated they’re open to putting Jayson Werth in center field to make room for Harper in right, and Harper was making an early case for the job with hits in his first four appearances of the spring. He was 5-for-11 with a walk and two strikeouts before going down.

If Harper ends up missing a week or more, that’d probably be enough to see to it that he begins the season in the minors. The Nationals have financial incentive for going that route anyway.

  1. chiadam - Mar 9, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    There is no way Harper opens the season on the Nats roster. Keep him in the minors until the deadline to delay his arbitration rights.

    • paperlions - Mar 10, 2012 at 10:43 AM

      More than that….there is simply no evidence that he is ready to face MLB pitching. I know the Nats are a trendy pick, but a 19 yr old Harper is not going to be a difference maker for that team this year. You may as well let him continue to develop this year and if all goes well break camp with him next year.

  2. tn16 - Mar 9, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    It all start now

  3. randygnyc - Mar 9, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    If he keeps hitting like he has been, he’ll not only make the club, he’ll be in the hall of fame.

  4. aceshigh11 - Mar 9, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    “Boxes and towels and calf tightness…OH MY!!”

    Have there been more weird injuries this Spring Training than usual?

    Of course, David Prices’ takes the cake…maybe I’m just not remembering.

  5. rob0527 - Mar 9, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    How does a 19 year old in top shape get a calf cramp and miss a few days? Tell him to man up and get out there.

  6. Old Gator - Mar 10, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    What is he going to do – stand there with a baby bottle and hand feed the calf until it can walk again? To hell with that. Can’t anybody in Washington teach a cow to squat?

  7. natsattack - Mar 10, 2012 at 5:30 AM

    No.

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