In the 37 games since Bryce Harper has been called up to the major leagues, he has played all but a half-inning. But Sunday afternoon, as the Nationals look for a series sweep against the Red Sox and lefty Jon Lester, he will not start.
Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals for The Washington Times.
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There was a time when Rick Ankiel was Stephen Strasburg. Sure, he's left-handed and he didn't come with nearly the hype that Strasburg did, given the advancements in media from 1999, when Ankiel made his major league debut, and 2009, when Strasburg was drafted by the Nationals. But in a lot of ways, he was. "Feels like another life," Ankiel said Saturday afternoon in the visitor's clubhouse at Fenway Park.
Danny Espinosa has been laughing off the question for years. Whenever his stats begin to skew the suggestion arises: If you're so much better from one side of the plate than the other, why not hit from that side exclusively? The only difference now is that the question used to be if he would consider abandoning hitting right-handed. Even his father, Danny, used to be asked if his son would ever consider giving up hitting from the right side. He had more power from the right side, they'd say, but he was a better hitter left-handed.
After sitting out the first game of the Nationals' series opener with the Red Sox, both Steve Lombardozzi and Rick Ankiel return to the starting lineup on Saturday for this late afternoon matinee.
The Nationals rotate in and out of the National League ballparks so frequently, it's not all that often that just arriving in the park itself becomes something of an event. But there was a little bit of that going around today as the Nationals explored Fenway Park. While rain ruined much of their pregame and stole batting practice, there were plenty of players popping out to the dugout just to check it out.
Facing a left-hander in Felix Doubront and with the luxury of the designated hitter, the Nationals lineup looks a little different tonight for their series opener against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Hello from sunny Boston where the Nationals will play for just the second time in their brief history. Interleague play begins in earnest tonight as the Nationals visit Fenway Park at the start of a 15-game American League East swing that will take them through Boston, Toronto and Baltimore, and bring Tampa Bay and New York to Nationals Park.
Bryce Harper has played in all 35 games since he was called up to the major leagues on April 28 but after his spill Thursday manager Davey Johnson revealed Harper has been dealing with a sore back. And for the first time since he became a major leaguer, Harper might sit when the Nationals arrive in Boston on Friday. Not necessary, Harper said.
The Nationals have already agreed to terms with second-round pick Tony Renda, a second baseman out of the Cal-Berkley, as well as fourth-round pick Brandon Miller, an outfielder from Samford University, according to scouting director Kris Kline. Renda will go to Single-A short season Auburn to begin his professional career. Third round pick and Scott Boras advisee, Brett Mooneyham, a left-hander from Stanford, is also expected to sign "relatively quickly," Kline said.
Updates on Mark DeRosa and Ryan Mattheus.
The Nationals made a late roster move Thursday afternoon, deeming right-handed reliever Brad Lidge ready to return to duty and activating him from the disabled list. In order to do so, they placed right-hander Henry Rodriguez on the DL with a strained right index finger.
When Thursday is over, the Nationals will be finished with a 14-game barrage of National League East teams, coming out with no worse than an 8-6 record and could be three games clear of the second place team in the division.
Outfielder Tyler Moore got just two at-bats in the first game of a doubleheader this afternoon with Triple-A Syracuse before he was summoned to the major leagues for the second time this season.
The ball clanked off the out of town scoreboard in right field Tuesday night and as Michael Morse motored into second base with his second double of the season (and the game) he felt things, ever so slightly, click a bit more back into place.
After a wild 7-6 victory over the Mets Tuesday night, the Nationals send Edwin Jackson to the hill looking for the series victory. With Michael Morse back, the Nationals lineup seems to have stabilized some. This is their best offensive team so aside from a few variables, it will most likely be the one they go with for a while.