Wire Taps: Nationals' Skipper Davey Johnson's Advice For Bryce Harper

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

For two years, 70-year-old manager Davey Johnson got to guide the career of 19-to-20-year-old Washington Nationals' slugger Bryce Harper. Johnson left his young star with plenty of good advice when he stepped away from the bench...

By mid-August, 70-year-old Washington Nationals' skipper Davey Johnson was frustrated. The left-handed bats in his lineup just weren't producing. Adam LaRoche, who posted a .268/.319/.506 line against left-handed pitchers in 2012 was down to .190/.246/.324 vs LHP. Nats' leadoff man Denard Span had a .301/.374/.365 line against lefties in his final season with the Twins in Minnesota in 2012, but he had a .167/.221/.202 at that point in his first season in the nation's capital. Bryce Harper had a .240/.300/.415 line against left-handed pitchers as a rookie in 2012. The then-20-year-old slugger had a .172/.270/.276 line against lefties as of August 13, 2013.

"I was telling him, 'You're going to really hit left-handers good, when you realize any left-hander, all left-handed pitchers are just dumb.'" - Davey Johnson's advice to Bryce Harper

Lamenting the fact that things were getting away from his team, Johnson, in a Washington Post article by Adam Kilgore, was quoted asking, as the WaPost writer noted, "aloud to no one in particular," when his left-handed bats would turn things around?

"'My left-handers got to start hitting left-handers sooner or later,'" Johnson said. As he told reporters later in the season, in September, after Harper got his line vs lefties up to .213/.333/.320 in a little over a month, Johnson passed some advice about facing southpaws on to the second-year major leaguer. "I was telling him, 'You're going to really hit left-handers good,'" Johnson said, "'when you realize any left-hander, all left-handed pitchers are just dumb. You'll hit them real good when you realize that."

Harper finished his second season in Washington with a .214/.327/.321 line vs lefties and a .300/.388/.560 line vs RHPs on the year, which worked out to a .274/.368/.486 line overall with 24 doubles and 20 HRs in 118 games and 497 plate appearances over which he was worth + 3.8 fWAR.

Links and lots of them as many as we could find, starting... RIGHT NOW!!:

Chris Marrero Outrighted:

• "Marrero, who will become a Minor League free agent, was the 15th overall selection in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft out of the same Florida high school that produced Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez." - "The Nationals outrighted Chris Marrero to Triple-A Syracuse" - Andrew Simon, nationals.com: News

• "It is a quiet ending for Marrero’s tenure with the Nationals, a corner infielder who was once considered their top hitting prospect with a bright future." - "Nationals outright former first-rounder Chris Marrero" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "The Nationals gave Marrero two opportunities in the big leagues; he appeared in 39 total games in 2011 and 2013, hitting .232 with a .256 on-base percentage, five doubles and 11 RBI." - "Marrero outrighted to AAA, will become free agent" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "This removes Marrero from the Nationals' 40-man roster and means that he'll become a minor league free agent after the World Series is over." - "Nationals Pastime: Marrero outrighted to Triple-A Syracuse" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• So, Throwing To High School Kids Then?:

• "Nationals left-hander Ross Detwiler is not going to play winter ball this offseason, according to his agent, Jeff Berry." - "No winter ball for Detwiler this offseason" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama (@DalaiLama):

• Nationals Spring Training Update:

• "Brevard County officials have been trying to persuade the Washington Nationals to remain in Viera for spring training." - "Nationals claim Space Coast Stadium overdue for fixes" - David Berman, FLORIDA TODAY

• Other Nationals-related Links:

• "Mattingly's agent did his client no favors Tuesday when he told the Washington Post how his client just might like to manage the Nationals if things did not work out with the Dodgers." - "Dodgers' Don Mattingly takes a deep breath, makes the right call" - Bill Shaikin, latimes.com

• "As the Yankees and Mets begin looking for free agent values this offseason, here's a name to keep an eye on: Dan Haren." - "Dan Haren a free agent bargain Yankees, Mets should look at" - Cody Derespina, Newsday.com

• "Barely on the Nationals’ radar when the season began, Roark began to turn heads at Class AAA Syracuse, where he posted a 3.15 ERA." - "Washington Nationals roster review: Tanner Roark" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• AFL/Prospect Updates:

• "Outfielder Steven Souza Jr. is excited to be able to continue his season playing in the Arizona Fall League, even if it is only two games a week." - "Souza showing hitting and speed ability early in Arizona play" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "They took the lead in the second inning when A's top prospect Addison Russell doubled and Nats No. 1 prospect Brian Goodwin drove him in with a single." - "Cubs prospect Jorge Soler's resurgence leads Sox over Scorpions" - Teddy Cahill, MLB.com: News

• "Catching Up On Transactions" - Luke Erickson, NationalsProspects.com

• "Conventional wisdom says that if a player can succeed at the Double-A level, he can play in the big leagues. Count Goodwin among those who believes that adage to be true." - "Nationals prospect Brian Goodwin aims to take next step at Arizona Fall League" - Jonathan Mayo, nationals.com: News

• And ... Oh, By The Way, the "World Series" Is Going On I Guess. Whatever, Right?:

• "With a 4-2 victory in front of 38,436 in Game 2 of the World Series, St. Louis heads home having split the pair of games at Fenway Park." - "St. Louis Cardinals at Boston Red Sox - October 24, 2013" - Jennifer Langosch, MLB.com STL Recap

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