Neither Washington Nationals’ manager Dusty Baker or Bryce Harper seemed all that concerned about the groin tightness that forced the 24-year-old to leave Thursday’s series finale with Arizona’s Diamondbacks, but he’s not in the lineup for tonight’s game.
“His groin tightened up on him and so we took him out for precautionary reasons and we just have to see. He’s day-to-day,” Baker told reporters after the win on Thursday.
Baker said he wasn’t sure exactly when Harper tweaked his groin, but said he looked okay at the plate before he left the game.
“He was swinging mighty hard, but he always swings hard,” he explained. “I saw him in the dugout and I said, ‘How you doin?’ and he goes, ‘Aww, man it’s not doing too good.’ And so we didn’t want to take a chance.”
Harper told reporters after the game that he was feeling fine, and hoped to be back in the lineup for the series opener tonight in Philadelphia.
He tweaked it, he said, on a diving catch earlier in the game.
“I feel good,” Harper said. “Got it a little bit on the fly ball, that dive, I need to stop diving and trying to catch fly balls too much. But just felt it a little tight.
“Felt good in my second at bat, and the third at bat, groundout to second, and that last at bat just felt it a little too much, so just trying to get out of there and get some treatment and everybody knows I want to play in Philly, so I’m looking forward to that.”
Harper explained that he was just following the advice from the Nats’ trainers, who are doing what they can to keep everyone healthy.
“They want to be smart,” he said. “If we feel it during the game, they want us out of there. They talked to me before and said, ‘Hey, just be smart, if you feel it just make sure you’re getting in there getting treatment,’ and I felt it a little bit and made sure to get in here, get with [Executive Director of Medical Services] Harvey [Sharman] and hopefully get ready for tomorrow.”
Harper went 4 for 9 with two home runs in the Nationals’ first visit to Citizens Bank Park this season.
He has a .376/.504/.723 line, eight doubles and nine home runs on the season and he’s put up a .296/.361/.627 line with five doubles, three triples and 12 home runs over 38 games and 158 plate appearances in CBP in his career.
Harper is sitting out of the series opener apparently, we’ll see what Baker has to say when he meets with reporters before tonight’s game.