The Washington Nationals were pleased with how outfielder Bryce Harper came through his first rehab game, and the 20-year-old was back in the lineup for Single-A Potomac on Wednesday. Harper is expected to play about six innings in his second rehab game.
Harper was 1-for-1 with a walk and a bloop double on Tuesday night, testing the bursitis in his left knee with running in the outfield and on the basepaths.
Harper dove back into second base in an effort to avoid getting picked off (he was unsuccessful) and went first-to-third later in the game.
The Nationals were interested to see how the swelling and inflammation in his left knee would respond — and whether it would resurface — after he played, but general manager Mike Rizzo said he came through the game fine and they’d continue to reevaluate him on a daily basis.
“We’re going to take it game-by-game and rehab start by rehab start and see how he progresses,” Rizzo said. “We’re going to see where he’s at after the six (innings on Wednesday) and see how he comes through it (on Thursday) before the game. That will dictate what he does (on Thursday).”
Manager Davey Johnson said the team is hopeful that Harper will be ready to return to the active roster on Monday when the team returns home to take on the Milwaukee Brewers. Harper has not played since May 26.
The Nationals are 13-19 when he does not appear in the game.
“I’m interested to see how the knee reacted,” Johnson said. “If he got any swelling or what. If I get a good report on that, I’ll feel a lot better.”