Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bryce Harper Rehabs with Potomac Nationals

"Bryce Harper, in his first action in over a month, played three innings in the first game of his rehab assignment at Class A Potomac on a steamy Tuesday night in Woodbridge. Harper, hitting second, went 1 for 1 with a double, walk and run scored. He started in left field and saw little action defensively, other than running back to watch a drive go over his head, hit the warning track and bounce over the fence for a ground-rule double."
It was a packed house Tuesday to see Bryce Harper take the field at the Potomac Nationals game as part of an injury rehabilitation assignment. Harper is fighting to get back with the Major League club after suffering from a nagging knee injury, but the All Star's arrival in Prince William County was the talk of the town.

It’s not every night you get to see last year’s Major League Rookie of the Year in the cozy setting of a Minor League game.

Harper was quiet for a while after colliding with the outfield wall in May. He hadn’t played in nearly a month until Tuesday night.

Harper didn’t always look sharp, getting picked off second base and getting a bad jump on a fly ball he missed, but he did look fast running the bases, something the Nationals have missed.

Harper, should his knee respond well to playing, is expected to log about six innings Wednesday and then play a full game on Thursday. He is expected to rest on Friday and then play another full game on Saturday, likely when Class AA Harrisburg is at Bowie, a chance for him to face better pitching ahead of returning to the majors. He is then scheduled to rest on Sunday before rejoining the Nationals at home against Milwaukee.

The All-Star -- still the youngest player on the P-Nats roster -- hit .289 with 18 homers and 61 RBIs in 130 Minor League games across two levels in 2011 and 2012. He skipped Potomac on his climb through the Nationals system, going straight from Hagerstown to Double-A Harrisburg.

The 2012 National League Rookie of the Year, Harper is a career .274 in the Majors. He batted .270 with 22 homers and 59 RBIs in 139 games last year and was hitting .287 with a dozen homers and 23 RBIs in games this season.

Harper injured his knee on May 13 when he collided with the outfield wall at Dodger Stadium, then aggravated it on May 26 against Philadelphia. The Nationals placed him on the 15-day disabled list on June 2 with knee bursitis, roughly characterized as swelling and inflammation around the kneecap.

Although Harper has missed 25 games, he's still tied for the team lead with 12 homers and ranks first in batting (.287) and on-base percentage (.386).

More information:
» 2012: Uncle Slam Placed on 60-Day DL

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