Skip to content

Bryce Harper begins rehab assignment, expects to move around Nationals’ outfield

Jun 24, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT

Bryce Harper Getty Getty Images

Out for the past two months with a torn thumb ligament, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper began a minor-league rehab assignment Monday night at Single-A.

Harper singled in his first at-bat and later walked before exiting the game after three innings as planned. He played left field, which is where he’s expected to spend most of his time upon rejoining the Nationals, although Harper could also see some action in center field if the team decides to keep using Ryan Zimmerman occasionally in left field rather than third base.

Zimmerman said Monday that he’d prefer to remain in left field but is willing to play third base if that’s where the Nationals need him. Similarly, Harper said after his first rehab game that he’d prefer to remain in one outfield spot full time but is willing to shift around on a game-by-game basis if the Nationals want it that way instead:

I want to get comfortable in one spot. I got in a little bit of trouble last year playing right field and getting hurt. So I think just trying to stay in one spot would be great. But with the outfield we have, I don’t think that’s going to happen. So being able to play left and play center and play right is something that I need down here.

July 1 is Harper’s expected return date for now, so the Nationals have another week to decide what their plan will be.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $35,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Tuesday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $6,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on TuesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Latest Posts
  1. Cardinals officially add A.J. Pierzynski; designate George Kottaras for assignment

    Jul 26, 2014, 11:40 AM EDT

    A.J. Pierzynski Getty Getty Images

    The Cardinals have added A.J. Pierzynski as a veteran alternative behind the plate with Yadier Molina sidelined due to a thumb injury.

  2. UPDATE: Giants to acquire Jake Peavy from Red Sox

    Jul 26, 2014, 11:15 AM EDT

    jake peavy getty Getty Images

    Veteran right-hander Jake Peavy is headed back to the National League and will be reunited with Bruce Bochy.

  3. Maximum stay on Hall of Fame ballot changed from 15 to 10 years

    Jul 26, 2014, 10:32 AM EDT

    hall of fame

    Big news coming out of Cooperstown this morning, as the National Baseball Hall of Fame announced their first changes to the voting process since 1991.

  4. Jon Lester is willing to return to the Red Sox as a free agent even if they trade him

    Jul 26, 2014, 10:09 AM EDT

    350fd45295c3d1be13143b1085a354f9 AP

    Jon Lester wants to stay in Boston and is open to returning even if the Red Sox trade him in the coming days.

  5. Jose Abreu is third-fastest in MLB history to reach 30 career home runs

    Jul 26, 2014, 9:31 AM EDT

    Jose Abreu AP AP

    Only Rudy York (1937) and Mark McGwire (1987) got there faster.

  6. Settling the Score: Friday’s results

    Jul 26, 2014, 8:55 AM EDT

    Rays AP AP

    A quick recap of a busy Friday around MLB, including another win for the red-hot Rays.

  7. The Dodgers are going bananas with triples against the Giants

    Jul 26, 2014, 12:28 AM EDT

    Yasiel Puig Yasiel Puig

    Triples galore for the Dodgers in San Francisco on Friday night.

  8. Video: Watch Ichiro Suzuki end his homerless drought

    Jul 25, 2014, 11:55 PM EDT

    Ichiro Suzuki Ichiro Suzuki

    Ichiro Suzuki went yard for the first time this season, taking Mark Buehrle deep. He had previously homered on August 30 last year against the Orioles.

  9. Jose Bautista isn’t impressed with Derek Norris and Sean Doolittle’s beards

    Jul 25, 2014, 11:25 PM EDT

    Toronto Blue Jays' Bautista looks into the stands between innings during a MLB American League baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg Reuters

    Jose Bautista isn’t a huge fan of the beards Athletics Derek Norris and Sean Doolittle are sporting.

  10. The Atlantic League is adding new rules to speed up ballgames

    Jul 25, 2014, 10:55 PM EDT

    Alarm Clock

    The Independent League is taking measures to speed up games. Could MLB do the same?

  11. Report: Cardinals in the process of signing A.J. Pierzynski

    Jul 25, 2014, 9:35 PM EDT

    Chicago Cubs v Boston Red Sox Getty Images

    The Cardinals are trying to add yet another catcher in A.J. Pierzynski, which would mean George Kottaras could be on his way out.

  12. Daisuke Matsuzaka is back in New York to have his right elbow examined

    Jul 25, 2014, 8:45 PM EDT

    Daisuke Matsuzaka Daisuke Matsuzaka

    The struggling Daisuke Matsuzaka will have his elbow examined, which will let the Mets know how to proceed.

  13. Jimmy Rollins’ 2015 option just became guaranteed

    Jul 25, 2014, 7:55 PM EDT

    Jimmy Rollins Getty Images

    Jimmy Rollins needed 1,100 plate appearances total between 2013-14 in order for his $11 million option for 2015 to become guaranteed. He hit PA #1,100 during tonight’s game against the Diamondbacks.

  14. Yasiel Puig, Hanley Ramirez return to Dodgers’ lineup

    Jul 25, 2014, 7:40 PM EDT

    Yasiel Puig Yasiel Puig

    Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez are back. Making things even more interesting, Puig will play center field.

  15. Mariners option Jesus Montero to Triple-A to make room for Kendrys Morales

    Jul 25, 2014, 6:55 PM EDT

    Kendrys Morales Kendrys Morales

    Jesus Montero gets the boot back to Triple-A to make room for the recently-acquired Kendrys Morales.

  16. It’s happening: Giants call up Dan Uggla from Triple-A

    Jul 25, 2014, 6:10 PM EDT

    Dan Uggla Getty Images

    Dan Uggla is back in the big leagues! What could go wrong?

  17. Rangers place Jake Smolinski on the disabled list

    Jul 25, 2014, 5:19 PM EDT

    Jake Smolinski Rangers AP

    Career minor leaguer Jake Smolinski got a chance in Texas because of the Rangers’ never-ending injuries and took advantage by hitting .389 in 11 games, but now he’s headed to their crowded disabled list with a bone bruise in his foot.

  18. Five teams are showing interest in Matt Kemp

    Jul 25, 2014, 4:45 PM EDT

    Matt Kemp Getty Getty Images

    No word on whether the Dodgers are one of them.

  19. David Ortiz returns to Red Sox lineup after back injury

    Jul 25, 2014, 4:20 PM EDT

    David Ortiz AP

    Presumably enough time has passed for some of the animosity to fade, but Ortiz’s at-bats will definitely be worth watching tonight.

Featured video

Three legends off to Cooperstown
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. T. Tulowitzki (3324)
  2. R. Howard (3229)
  3. C. Headley (3000)
  4. Y. Puig (2923)
  5. H. Ramirez (2834)
  1. M. Trout (2778)
  2. B. Belt (2594)
  3. C. Lee (2457)
  4. H. Street (2349)
  5. J. Soria (2292)