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Bryce Harper isn’t thrilled about the Nationals’ lineup tonight

Jun 30, 2014, 7:51 PM EDT

Bryce Harper Getty Getty Images

Bryce Harper is in the Nationals’ lineup tonight for the first time since he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb on April 25. While the 21-year-old is making the start in left field tonight, he offered some pointed comments to Chase Hughes of this afternoon about where he’d prefer to play.

Basically, Harper believes that he should play center field while Ryan Zimmerman should start in left and Danny Espinosa should start at second base. This would leave Denard Span as the odd-man out. However, Nationals manager Matt Williams has Espinosa on the bench tonight, with Zimmerman at third base and Span in center field.

“I’m in the lineup, that’s all that matters. If I had the lineup it would maybe not be the same. But he’s got the lineup card, he’s got the pen and he knows what he’s doing. There’s nothing I can do about it,” he said.

“I think [Zimmerman] is great and he should be playing left. Rendon’s a great third baseman and he should be playing third. And we got one of the best second basemen in the league in Danny Espinosa. Of course you want the best hitting lineup in there, and I think Rendon playing third and Zim playing left is something that is good for this team and I think that should be what’s happening.”

No offense, Bryce, but calling Espinosa “one of the best second baseman in the league” is a bit of a stretch. While he is a solid defender, he’s batting just .217/.284/.348 this season and has struck out in nearly 35 percent of his plate appearances.

Williams was informed about Harper’s opinion on the lineup and simply said that he’s “happy to have him back.” It’s worth noting that the Nationals haven’t committed to keeping Harper in left field permanently and had him play all three outfield positions during his minor league rehab assignment, so we’ll likely see some shuffling in the starting lineup in the days to come.

  1. duckyjimpond - Jul 1, 2014 at 1:18 PM

    Bryce Harper needs to learn to keep his mouth shut. His teammates will think better of him. He has not lived up to all his hype nor earned his BIG SALARY YET


    • bolweevils2 - Jul 1, 2014 at 3:34 PM

      I can’t help but think I’d probably say some pretty dumb things too if I was still 21 years old and had my self opinion overinflated by people telling me how great I was my whole life.

      Should he say stuff like this? Of course not. But really, he’s still just a kid and I suspect once he matures more you’ll hear less of this type stuff. All the stories you see of the male brain not being fully developed until the mid-20s may be a factor here.

  2. ironcurtin64 - Jul 1, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    Say what you want about Harper, but I enjoy watching him play more than almost anybody else in baseball. Although, you’re always waiting for the next injury…which sucks.

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