Monday night in Hagerstown, while Chien-Ming Wang was making his first minor league rehab start of the year, Bryce Harper was not playing. He was, however, coaching first base for the Suns.
Harper has played in just three games since the team has returned from the South Atlantic League All-Star break, going 2-for-12. He has been dealing with a sore left thumb, which limited him in the All-Star game and kept him out of the Home Run Derby, but Nationals Director of Player Development Doug Harris said they’re just giving Harper some rest.
“It’s the first time this kid has played baseball day, after day, after day in his life,” Harris said. “So we’re just giving him a blow.”
Harper is expected to get back into games some time in the next few days, Harris said, and he’s one of the Nationals two representatives in the July 10 Futures Game in Arizona. Brad Peacock, from Double-A, is the other.
Asked if Harper may have a future coaching first base if this baseball thing doesn’t work out, Suns manager Brian Daubach laughed and said “he looked pretty good tonight.”
Harper is hitting .322 in 67 games with Hagerstown with 14 homers, 45 RBI, a .421 on-base percentage and a .569 slugging percentage.
The Suns won 5-2 Monday night.
– Thanks to Washington Times Redskins writer Rich Campbell for the report from Hagerstown. Got to have something for him to do, right?