Bryce Harper injured his left thumb sliding into third base on Friday night on a bases-loaded triple. Washington's 21-year-old slugger left the game an inning later when the thumb started to swell, but initial X-rays were negative.
Nationals' Manager Matt Williams told reporters before Saturday afternoon's game that Harper would be available off the bench if needed, but said Harper was not going to be in the starting lineup.
"He'll be available off the bench for sure," Williams said, "but I don't think he'll be in the lineup."
"We'll have the hand specialist here today to look at it and make sure, but the early tests anyway are pretty good. X-rays are negative. There's some swelling there, but we just want to make sure we knock it out."
Harper was not needed in what ended being a 4-0 win over the San Diego Padres, and after the game, Williams updated reporters on Harper's status.
"He showed up this morning, a little swollen," Williams said. "Hand specialist saw him during the game. He is currently having an MRI. The X-rays were negative. He's having an MRI this afternoon. We'll have more details tonight or in the morning, but he's a little swollen today."
Williams still said that Harper could have helped out if necessary.
"Emergency situation, down to the last guy, extra innings, stuff like that," Williams said. "But he's going in for an MRI now to have it looked at. Such quick turnaround, it's hard to get him in so we had to wait until after the game."
The MRI after the negative X-rays are standard procedure Williams told reporters.
"It's pretty standard these days," he said. "You first get the X-ray. It could have been done last night, but you'd have to make special arrangements and he probably wasn't going to play today anyway. We had the hand specialist here to see all three guys today, [Ryan Zimmerman], Wilson [Ramos] and now Bryce. He was coming in anyway, so we figured have him take a look at Bryce too, so now he's going to get an MRI and get a pitcture on it and see."
As of this morning, there was no update on the results of the MRI.
As for the other injured Nationals who met with the hand specialist on Saturday?
"Wilson is good," Williams said of the 26-year-old catcher who suffered a broken hamate bone in his left hand on Opening Day in New York. Ramos was behind the plate before Saturday's game receiving pitches from Nats' coaches and firing throws to second base a day after he took batting practice for the first time since the injury.
And Zimmerman? "Zim is healing fine," Williams added, updating the status of the 29-year-old third baseman who suffered a fractured thumb diving back into second base on a pickoff play in Atlanta's Turner Field. "He's still some time away from doing his grip stuff and putting a ball in his hand and all that stuff, but they're progressing."
Gio Gonzalez, who left last Wednesday night's start early with shoulder tightness, is doing well too. Williams said the 28-year-old left-hander was doing well and would be able to get some extra rest in before making his next start.
"He's fine," Williams said on Saturday morning. "With the offday coming, he's got an extra day's rest, so he'll probably push his pen back a day, which potentially could be [Sunday] and see where he's at. But he threw the day after he pitched and felt fine. Felt good yesterday. Took BP yesterday and everything is good. So we anticipate him being okay."
And then there's 30-year-old right-hander Doug Fister, who is going to make the first of what will be, if all goes well, two minor league rehab starts as he works his way back from a minor lat strain suffered while he was working his way back from inflammation in his right elbow. Fister is set to start for the Potomac Nationals at 1:00 pm EDT this afternoon. "He's set to go," Williams said.
More info on all of the above when it is available...