Davey Johnson was asked last night if he knew how the Washington Nationals would clear a spot on the roster for Bryce Harper, provided the Nats' 2010 no.1 overall pick did return from the DL this afternoon as expected. "Well, if we see he's healthy and breathing and there's no swelling in his leg" Johnson said, "then we'll make that decision tomorrow, but obviously it's going to be a pitcher."
Apparently, the Nats' left fielder is healthy and breathing with no swelling in his knee. After over a month on the DL recovering from bursitis in his left knee, the result of a couple collisions with outfield walls and hard slides in the infield and outfield, 20-year-old Washington Nationals' outfielder Bryce Harper was officially reinstated this afternoon with the Washington Nationals making the announcement via Twitter:
#Nationals reinstate LF Bryce Harper from DL, option RHP Erik Davis to Syracuse.— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) July 1, 2013
Erik Davis returns to Triple-A Syracuse after being called up this past weekend.
Harper returns to the major league lineup for the first time since May 26th. On his recent rehab stint, the Nationals' hard-hitting slugger was 4 for 11 (.354) with a double, triple and home run in four games with the Class-A Potomac Nationals and Double-A Harrisburg Senators.
Before he went on the DL, Harper had a .287/.386/.587 line over 44 games and 178 plate appearances in which he hit seven doubles, a triple and 12 HRs. With their three-hole hitter out of the lineup, the Nationals went from two games over .500 at 26-24 to 41-40, a 15-16 record while Harper was on the sidelines recovering.
Nats' skipper Davey Johnson didn't want to talk about what the lineup would look like once Harper officially returned last night, but he did say, "I still kind of lean toward the original way I had it lined up." That's just what Johnson did. Washington Times' writer Amanda Comak just posted tonight's lineup soon as the Nats get set to take on the Milwaukee Brewers with Harper back on the field after missing the entire month of June...
• Here's Tonight's Lineup:
#nats go back to early lineup construction: Span CF,Werth RF, Harper LF,Zimmerman3B, LaRoche1B, Desmond SS, Rendon2B, Suzuki C, Zimmermann P— Amanda Comak (@acomak) July 1, 2013
Game time 7:05 pm EDT tonight in D.C. Bryce Harper's back.