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Thumb injury keeps Bryce Harper out of game against Mets

Mar 23, 2013, 6:01 PM EDT

Bryce Harper AP

Nationals manager Davey Johnson advised Bryce Harper to stay home rather than make the trip to Port St. Lucie for this afternoon’s Grapefruit League game against the New York Mets. So, the star left fielder nursing a swollen left thumb stayed behind.

More from Johnson, via’s Joey Nowak:

“I took him out after two at-bats, though I couldn’t believe that ball jammed him. It was a bullet to right,” Johnson said. “But he’s been getting a lot of reps, a lot of ABs. I was gonna bring him today because I like to watch him play. When I took him out yesterday, it was on my mind not to have him come here. I didn’t re-adjust that after I took him out. The trainers didn’t talk to me about it, and I forgot about it. But when I saw [his thumb] this morning, I said, ‘You’re not going.’ I scratched him.”

Harper has been having a great spring, currently riding a .400 average, three homers, and a team-best 12 RBI in 55 at-bats. Last season, he posted the fourth-best adjusted OPS (119) in baseball history by a player under the age of 20, trailing only Mel Ott (139), Ty Cobb (132), and Sherry Magee (122).

  1. jakkispeed - Mar 23, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    Unless something happened to Denard Span, I believe Harper is in left this season.

    • Bill Baer - Mar 23, 2013 at 8:14 PM

      You’re right, I’ve edited the post. Thanks.

  2. natslady - Mar 23, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    Rough game yesterday–two thumbs down. (Strasburg’s and the Kid’s.)

    Davey brought bunch of minor league guys to play today, GameDay didn’t even have pictures of them. Apparently the Nats reward the hardworking kids with a bus trip and a chance to face major-league pitching–well, Mets pitching. Must drive the announcers crazy–who ARE these guys?

    • Kevin S. - Mar 24, 2013 at 7:32 AM

      The Mets actually have a major-league rotation. That’s about all they have, but their starters are legit.

    • polonelmeagrejr - Mar 24, 2013 at 10:13 AM

      ” I was gonna bring him today because I like to watch him play.” THis is an interesting look at what motivates a manager when he makes out the lineup card.

  3. illogic87 - Mar 23, 2013 at 9:09 PM

    That’s a clown injury, bro.

  4. baseballer28 - Mar 24, 2013 at 8:28 AM

    Adjusted OPS? WTF, just another way for the geeks to compare ballplayers that have no business being compared. Ott and Cobb are in the Hall…Harper isn’t nearly as good as those two. Ott hit 42 bombs when he was 20, in bigger ball parks and Cobb had BA’s over .400. Harper sucks when even compared to marginal rookies. 22 and 59? Come on Trout had more hits, HRs, RBIs, SBs and a much, much higher BA, all exactly the same amount of games. Trout only had about 35 or so more ABs then Harper. Trout is going to be an exciting player, while Harper is going to be marginal at best. Everyone just thinks he’s so good because of the hype, his hair cut and the Jersey Shore way he acts. Kid is bad for baseball just by the way he disrespects the game and all the other players.

  5. spudchukar - Mar 24, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    The year of the thumb injury.

  6. pg99bassist - Mar 24, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    “In legend I am a sadistic, slashing, swashbuckling despot who waged war in the guise of sport.” – Ty Cobb

    Baseballer28 apparently doesn’t know his history. There might have not been another player as disrespectful of the game of baseball in history than Ty Cobb. And thats not even including the encyclopedic accounts of his racism, temper and violent outbursts. And to think a kid like Harper “disrespects the game” shows you haven’t seen him play or know anything about what he’s done since coming up. In Harpers 8th game Hamels intentionally threw at him. And after the game said “I threw at him. I wanted to say ‘welcome to the bigs.’ And the result? Harper stole home on him and Hamels got suspended 5 games. Who plays the game the right way? I’ll take heart and hustle over fake tough guy machismo any day.

    But to say “Harper sucks compared to other marginal rookies” proves either you have an axe to grind and don’t believe in these little things called facts… or you just a complete moron who somehow managed to get your hands on a computer.

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