Davey Johnson told reporters on Tuesday that the Washington Nationals' 20-year-old slugger Bryce Harper's thumb was still an issue and the swelling might result in the the left fielder sitting out the last few Grapefruit League games. Harper initially injured the thumb on his left hand when Detroit Tigers' lefty Drew Smyly jammed the left-handed hitter in last Friday's game. Harper was jammed again by the Miami Marlins' Henderson Alvarez yesterday, and Johnson told reporters that head trainer Lee Kuntz was concerned enough that Harper would sit for the next few days. The Nats' 2010 no.1 overall pick told reporters this morning, including CSN Washington's Mark Zuckerman that the thumb felt much better when he woke up this morning:
"'When I woke up this morning, it felt fine,' [Harper] said. 'Yesterday, it kind of got me a little. I thought it was going to be a lot worse when I woke up this morning. It wasn't. If I was in the lineup today, I could play.'"
Harper should be available for Friday afternoon's exhibition game against the New York Yankees in Nationals Park. He won't be in the lineup in either of the Nats' split squad games today, however. Here's the lineup that will take on the Braves in Space Coast Stadium this afternoon via the Washington Times' Amanda Comak:
#nats lineup: Span CF, Werth RF, Zimmerman 3B, LaRoche 1B, Desmond SS, Espinosa 2B, Ramos C, Moore LF, Detwiler P— Amanda Comak (@acomak) March 27, 2013
While the Nats host the Braves, their split-squad team will travel to Jupiter, Florida's Roger Dean Stadium to take on the St. Louis Cardinals. '09 9th Round pick Taylor Jordan is on the mound for the Nationals in Jupiter, though as of 12:43 pm EST MLB.com still doesn't have the Nats' entire lineup listed. We'll update that in the comments section below. Jordan, a 24-year-old right-hander, pitched in the New York/Penn league and at Class-A Hagerstown last season. Today he takes on the team that knocked the Nats out of the NLDS last season... No pressure. The Braves and Nats are available via MLB.com's Gameday audio. The Nats/Cards game is available on MLB.tv via the Cardinals feed. Who's Watching/Listening to the Nationals?