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Washington Nationals: Roster Notes - Matt Stairs Released, Bryan Harper Signed.

Matt Stairs famously (at least in NatsTown circles) told Bryce Harper to lose the eye black that had sort of become "his thing" throughout high school and his Team USA and JUCO days, when the veteran pinch hitting legend spoke to the 18-year-old outfielder during Harper's time with the big club during his first major league Spring Training this past March. On the day Stairs was officially and unconditionally released by the Nats, Harper's brother Bryan, who'd been drafted twice before (once by the Nats in '08, once by the Cubs in 2010) without signing, and drafted again this past June by the Nationals in the 30th Round, officially announced via Twitter that he'd agreed to a deal with the club that drafted his younger brother no.1 overall in June of 2010. 

Asked about having drafted Bryan in 2008 during a post-2010 Draft press conference, D.C. GM Mike Rizzo described the elder Harper brother as a "...wonderful pick from a wonderful family and a very talented young pitcher also," who'd pitched on the same team as Bryce at the College of Southern Nevada where he went (10-1) in 2010 with a 2.18 ERA and 88 K's (13.73 K/9) in 57.2 innings before transferring to the University of South Carolina last year where the 21-year-old left-hander was (0-1) with a 5.40 ERA in 22 games (one start) and 18.1 IP over which he walked 17 and K'd 18.

When Bryan was selected by the Nats a year after his brother, Bryce Harper, 18, Bryan's 21, told reporter Steven Miller as quoted in an article entitled, "All in the family: Nats draft Harper's brother", that he believed his older brother was, "... one of the most dominating left-handed pitchers I've seen in my life, and I've seen [Nationals third-round pick Matthew] Purke and a lot of other guys that are at that caliber,":

"My brother's pretty good and I wouldn't say it if he wasn't. Everyone's going to see what he has and what he features, so I'm pretty excited about it."

As for Stairs, the Nats' press release was simple one which noted that the 43-year-old MLB All-Time pinch hit HR leader had hit, "... .154 with one double and two RBI in 56 games this season with Washington." Stairs' 19th MLB season (with the Nats at least) unofficially ended when he was DFA'd to make room on the roster for Jonny Gomes after the trade which brought the outfielder to D.C. from Cincinnati.