Washington Nationals' manager Davey Johnson ended last night's post game press conference talking about the possibility of Bryce Harper returning to the majors while the team was on the road in New York to play the Mets in Citi Field. "I'll take him whenever he's ready," the 70-year-old skipper said after the Nationals' 3-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the nation's capital. "I think we just need to talk to him and see how he's feeling."
Harper went 2 for 4 with a two-run triple, a walk and a K for the Double-A Harrisburg Senators last night, leaving the 20-year-old outfielder 4 for 8 with a double, triple and home run three games into his rehab stint following over a month off as he rested his left knee. Harper was diagnosed as having bursitis following two collisions with outfield walls in Atlanta and LA and a succession of hard sliding plays. Harper hasn't played in the majors since May 26th.
"But tomorrow was going to be off and then he was going to go back to playing," Johnson said, "so we just have to wait and see." As planned, Harper's not in the lineup for the Senators tonight, but he wasn't in New York either, as some had hoped, when the Nationals got to Citi Field for the start of their three game set with the Mets. Johnson addressed the situation with reporters on the scene before the start of tonight's game:
Davey says Bryce Harper will hit indoors at Bowie today. Will get today off, play tomorrow with Harrisburg. Could still rejoin #Nats Monday— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) June 28, 2013
Bryce Harper is working out in Bowie today w Double-A Harrisburg, hitting & throwing, etc. Still scheduled to play there again tmrw— Amanda Comak (@acomak) June 28, 2013
Bryce Harper will play in Bowie again tomorrow, still on track for Monday return from DL.— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) June 28, 2013
The Nationals 2010 no.1 overall pick is still on schedule to return on Monday as Johnson had speculated earlier this week, but the prospect of seeing him return to the lineup this weekend in New York seems unlikely. Before going on the DL, the second-year major leaguer had a .287/.386/.587 line in 44 games and 178 plate appearances in which he hit seven doubles, a triple and 12 HRs.
The Nationals did, however, confirm the rumors that 24-year-old right-hander Taylor Jordan will come up to make his major league debut on Saturday:
Yes, Davey made it official today, RHP Taylor Jordan (9-1, 1.00 in 15g/14gs) will make his MLB debut Sat. for the #Nationals at Citi Field.— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) June 28, 2013
Jordan will become the 10th pitcher drafted and developed by the Natonals (2005-pres.) to start a big league game for Washington.— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) June 28, 2013
And according to reports from Davey Johnson's pregame meeting with reporters, it won't be a spot start for Jordan, who's expected to get a few starts while he's up with the big league team:
Davey said he expects Taylor Jordan to get at least 2-3 starts, a few chances to show what he's got.— Amanda Comak (@acomak) June 28, 2013
Jordan started the season at Class-A Potomac where he was (2-1) in six starts with a 1.24 ERA, a 2.46 FIP, six walks (1.49 BB/9) and 29 Ks (7.18 K/9) in 36 1/3 innings pitched before he was promoted to Double-A Harrisburg. With the Senators, Jordan's (7-0) in nine games, eight of them starts, in which he's put up a 0.83 ERA and a 2.39 FIP, with nine walks (1.50 BB/9) and 43 Ks (7.17 K/9) in 54.0 innings on the mound. Jordan coming up. Harper coming back soon. Wilson Ramos on the way. And the trade deadline looming a month away. Should be an interesting month of July as the Nationals try to get things going...