Bryce Harper was originally penciled into the Washington Nationals' lineup for the finale of their three-game set with the Miami Marlins, but within the last few minutes, the Nats' 21-year-old slugger was scratched with Tyler Moore taking over in left field:
New #Nats lineup: McLouth CF, Rendon 3B, Werth RF, LaRoche 1B, Desmond SS, Espinosa 2B, Moore LF, Lobaton C, Roark P— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) April 16, 2014
Though no explanation for the late change was immediately available, the Nationals' 2010 no.1 overall pick aggravated a lingering quad issue running out a triple in the first game of the current series in Marlins Park.
"He's just got a little tight quad that he's had for four or five days," Williams told reporters on Monday night. "The slip in between [second] and [third] aggravated it a little bit. I think he's fine. I don't think there was any big issue, but we got him out of there just to make sure he could get some work done tonight and see how he is tomorrow, but I expect him in the lineup tomorrow. I don't think there's a big issue."
Harper was back on the field on Tuesday, going 1 for 4 in the 11-2 loss to the Marlins to extend his current hit streak to eight games, over which he's 14 for 29 (.483/.545/.759) with three doubles, a triple and a home run in 33 plate appearances. On the year, the third-year major leaguer has a .340/.400/.500 line.
A few minutes after the initial announcement, the Nationals confirmed on Twitter that it is in fact quad tightness that led to the late scratch:
#Nats OF Bryce Harper was scratched from tonight's starting lineup with quad tightness.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) April 16, 2014
Tyler Moore, 27, was called up from Triple-A earlier this month when outfielder Scott Hairston was placed on the DL. Moore will start his second game of the series after going 3 for 5 with a double and a home run in the Nationals' 9-2 win in the first game of three in Miami.