Reports: Washington Nationals Expected To Place Bryce Harper On DL; Erik Davis Rumored To Be Called Up From Triple-A

USA TODAY Sports

Washington Nationals' manager Davey Johnson told reporters Friday night that Bryce Harper wouldn't return for the series in Atlanta, and after Stephen Strasburg's injury last night it appears Harper will be headed to the DL with Erik Davis coming up from Triple-A Syracuse to help the Nats' bullpen.

• Updated: 3:00 pm EST Saturday:

Washington Nationals' manager Davey Johnson updated reporters on Bryce Harper's condition before last night's game in Atlanta, Georgia's Turner Field. While there was hope that the Nats' 20-year-old outfielder could return to the lineup for this weekend's series with the Braves, the injury, diagnosed as bursitis in his left knee, didn't react well to a workout on Thursday. "It's not swollen enough to where you'd drain it or anything," the Nationals' 70-year-old manager said, "but it's swollen enough to cause him discomfort. I guess the combination of him hitting yesterday and doing a little running in the outfield aggravated it enough to agitate it."

"[Harper is] a tough guy and he would play if at all possible," Davey Johnson explained, "but when you're gimpy and he's too good a talent to take any chance on further injury." - Davey Johnson on Bryce Harper Friday night

"I would think this weekend's probably out of the question," Johnson continued. Though Harper wasn't likely to get into any of the three game with the Nats' NL East rivals, the Nationals' manager said before yesterday's game that they would likely hold off on DL'ing Harper until Monday or Tuesday when Jayson Werth is expected to return from his own DL stint. "With Jayson Werth down and possibly coming back on Monday and with the possibility that [Harper] might be better in three days to the point where the inflammation gets out of there, the swelling gets out of there, again he's got to do a workout and then it has to not be bad."

"He's a tough guy and he would play if at all possible," Johnson explained, "but when you're gimpy and he's too good a talent to take any chance on further injury, so he's not going out there until it's better. That's for dang sure."

"Call of a lifetime, headed to the show! What an amazing feeling." - Erik Davis on Twitter hinting he's been called up

That was, of course, all before last night's game. During the first game of the three-game set with the Braves, Stephen Strasburg was lifted with what was diagnosed as a strained oblique. Shortly after the game, Nats' prospect Erik Davis sent the following tweet on on his personal account (@EDavis19):

Davis, 26, is the former Padres' prospect acquired by the Nationals in a March 2011 trade that sent infielder Alberto Gonzalez to San Diego. The Nats added Davis to the 40-Man Roster this winter to protect him from selection in the Rule 5 Draft and he impressed in Spring Training, walking two, striking out eight and allowing just four hits and one earned run over 8.0 innings of work in which he posted a 1.13 ERA and a .148 BAA. Davis was sent to Triple-A Syracuse to start the 2013 campaign after a strong 2012 campaign spent mostly at Double-A Harrisburg, where he was (7-3) with 5 saves, a 2.52 ERA, 2.95 FIP, 2.52 BB/9 and 9.65 K/9 in 64.1 IP before he was promoted to the Nationals' top affiliate in August.

Several reports this morning, first from the Washington Times' Amanda Comak, then the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore and CSNWashington.com's Mark Zuckerman, have confirmed that Davis is on his way up with Bryce Harper reportedly now headed to the DL earlier than planned after the injury to Strasburg:

CSNWashington.com's Mr. Zuckerman has since added that the, "Bryce Harper DL move would be backdated to Monday, so he'd be eligible to return to #Nats June 11 at #Rockies."

• More info when it's available or when the Nationals make the moves official.

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