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Bryce Harper has been playing hurt since April

Sep 5, 2013, 10:15 AM EDT

Bryce Harper AP AP

Bryce Harper finally admitted to having a hip injury yesterday, so manager Davey Johnson gave him the game off, and the Nationals outfielder also admitted to Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com that he’s been playing hurt since slamming into the outfield wall in Atlanta in late April:

Ever since I hit the wall, pretty much every day I feel something different. Or something will feel better, and then something else hurts. It’s pretty much just the left side of my body. That’s what hurts me right now. … But the last time I probably felt pretty good was that first month.

At the time of the collision Harper was hitting .344 with a 1.150 OPS in 26 games. Since the collision Harper has hit .250 with a .792 OPS in 74 games. Obviously he was likely to come back to earth after posting a 1.150 OPS in April whether he was injured or healthy, but Harper’s production since the calendar flipped to May has actually been worse than his rookie numbers and within that time frame he also missed more than a month with another injury caused by an outfield wall collision in Los Angeles.

  1. flamethrower101 - Sep 5, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    So they shut down Strasburg in order to protect him from injury yet they allow Harper to play while he was clearly hurt and – perhaps more obviously – struggling? Somebody explain to me how that makes sense.

    • elwaysagenius - Sep 5, 2013 at 10:27 AM

      They are the 2013 preseason World Series champions, they don’t have to make sense to anyone

      • flamethrower101 - Sep 5, 2013 at 10:32 AM

        Not even to themselves.

    • emdash01 - Sep 5, 2013 at 10:36 AM

      The difference is, is this, in their opinion, likely to cause long-term damage? If yes, then no playing time. If not, then they can play.

      Because according to the orthopedist, this wasn’t structural damage and thus unlikely to cause long-term damage – once he hit the wall in LA the main issue was bursitis, which can’t really heal with rest; it’s still going to flare up and get sore. And once that’s sore the rest of the body gets sore trying to compensate. There was no fixing it but getting bursa sac surgery, and that would’ve put him out for probably the season.

      And honestly, have you seen their bench? 50% of Harper is still an improvement.

    • nolanwiffle - Sep 5, 2013 at 12:22 PM

      One is an everyday player who is a little banged up, so he continued to play. The other is a hard-throwing pitcher with a reconstructed elbow, so the team judged that he might be better off not throwing any longer.

      • stlouis1baseball - Sep 5, 2013 at 1:39 PM

        Alright Nolan. Although I gave you a thumbs up…that’s enough with the logic.
        Quite frankly, we enjoy making fun of (and references to) the Strasburg decision.

  2. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 5, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    According to Bugs Bunny logic, he needs to have an ACME anvil dropped on his head during the three seconds he’s suspended in mid-air after running off a cliff. That should fix him right up. May his poor performance has been due to poor vision due to birdies constantly circling his head.

  3. aceshigh11 - Sep 5, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    CAN YOU SMELL THE NATITUDE!

    SMELLS LIKE…Ben-Gay and Tiger Balm? WHAAAAT?

    • illegalblues - Sep 5, 2013 at 12:56 PM

      don’t you dare bring tiger balm into the trash can fire the nats have become this year. that stuff is doing the good lord’s work

      • aceshigh11 - Sep 5, 2013 at 2:18 PM

        Oh, it’s good stuff, no doubt. Used to use it on my knee when I was doing martial arts…godsend at night.

  4. scotttheskeptic - Sep 5, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    Basically, Harper has played himself into feeling like anyone over the age of 35?

  5. misterj167 - Sep 5, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    As I’m so fond of repeating, if we had more players like Bryce Harper, we’d have less players like Bryce Harper.

  6. Tick - Sep 5, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    Who’s surprised by this? He obviously hasn’t been the same player since he ran into the wall. How does everyone in management not see this? The kid needs to be put on DL for the rest of the season and get some sort of private coach or ex-player or something to get Harper’s head right. He’s just a detriment to himself and the team at this point.

  7. Jeff - Sep 5, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    that’s a clown injury bro

  8. Old Gator - Sep 5, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    Given the vast dating experience of my youth, I can assure you guys that playing hurt won’t get you laid any more or less often than pretending that you don’t give a shit.

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