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Bryce Harper injures knee, may be out for a few days

  • David Whitlock

The Washington Nationals might have another “play or don’t play” decision on their hands.  This time, with reigning National League Rookie of the Year Bryce Harper.  Harper left today’s game with soreness in his left knee, the knee he initially injured banging into the wall on May 13.  It’s stating the obvious that Harper is young and should heal fast, except the Tweets were flying after today’s 6-1 win against division rival Philadelphia Phillies.  Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson seems content to sit the youngster down a few days to protect his overall health (according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post):

Countered by Bryce Harper, who seems content to play through the pain (also by Kilgore):

Harper seemed to aggravate the knee injury on a slide, to which Davey Johnson had some ad hoc coaching, according to Kilgore:

While I was adamantly against sitting RHP Stephen Strasburg last year (and by sitting, I mean shutting down to include the city’s first postseason appearance since 1933).  But in this case, the Nationals are better served to let Harper recover and be his 5-tool self for the second half (reminder, well over 100 games left in this season).  You wonder how the (again) red-hot Atlanta Braves (won 8 straight, NL East lead back up to 5 games) factors into Harper feeling the need to press.  Lucky for the Nationals, they have an experience manager who will be thinking more long term (5 games not much at Memorial Day, especially if Strasburg gets rolling).

Bryce Harper's knee still an issue Credit: Alex Brandon/AP

Bryce Harper’s knee still an issue
Credit: Alex Brandon/AP

The trump card here is that the knee will probably need offseason surgery anyway, and whether a day or three off now will make a difference, only a trainer/doctor can tell.  Here’s hoping that we see vintage (is there such a thing for a 20-year-old) Harper during the second half, the NL East will be a fun race to watch.

– David Whitlock (@lhd_on_sports)

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David Whitlock

David Whitlock - manager

David (a.k.a. Longhorndave or lhd_on_sports) joined the staff late in the 2012 season and moved to Site Manager in early 2013. A lifelong Houston Astros fan (and mini-season ticket holder for 9 years) he attends 20+ games per year. A statistics freak, David still keeps score the "old fashioned way" on occasion (and has kept manual score of World Series games since 1986 and retains the sheets). He was a featured guest weekly on the Phil Naessens Show. He is also a Texas Longhorns alumnus and huge football and baseball fan of his alma mater. When he isn't watching or writing about baseball, he works as a contractor at NASA Johnson Space Center. He lives by the mantra "a bad day at the ballpark is better than a good day anywhere else."

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