The Washington Times - March 23, 2013, 12:16PM

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Bryce Harper was scratched from Saturday’s game against the New York Mets with some swelling in his left hand, the result of getting jammed by a pitch in Friday’s game against the Detroit Tigers.

Manager Davey Johnson appeared unconcerned about the swelling, and said he fully expects Harper to be back in the Nationals’ lineup on Sunday against the Atlanta Braves.


Harper arrived in the Nationals’ clubhouse early on Saturday for the bus to Port St. Lucie, but Johnson told him he was scratching him from the lineup.

“He’s been getting a lot of reps,” Johnson said. “I was going to bring him because I like to watch him play.”

In his second at-bat of Friday’s game, Harper ripped a single to right field off Drew Smyly. But the pitch had jammed him, surprising even his manager, given the result. Johnson took him out of the game after that with his mind turning toward not bringing the 20-year-old on Saturday’s trip.

“When I took him out yesterday, it was on my mind, and I didn’t readjust after I took him out,” Johnson said. “The trainers didn’t talk to me about it. When I saw him this morning I said ‘No, you’re not going.’ I scratched him. He didn’t ask not to come.

“I couldn’t believe that ball jammed him. That was a bullet.”

Michael Morse dealt with a similar injury during the 2012 season, and it took him a bit to get fully past it, but Johnson responded quickly with “no” when asked if he was concerned that this could linger. Harper does not get jammed as often as Morse did, he said.

Harper is hitting .400 this spring with eight extra-base hits in 55 at-bats. 

Here are the full lineups:


Roger Bernadina CF
Danny Espinosa SS
Tyler Moore 1B
Chad Tracy 3B
Wilson Ramos C
Carlos Rivero LF
Steve Lombardozzi 2B
Micah Owings RF
Gio Gonzalez P


Collin Cowgill CF
Justin Turner 2B
Marlon Byrd RF
Ike Davis 1B
John Buck C
Lucas Duda LF
Zach Lutz 3B
Ruben Tejada SS
Rafael Montero P