Washington Nationals’ skipper Dusty Baker told reporters after last night’s loss in the series finale with the Philadelphia Phillies in Citizens Bank Park, that 24-year-old slugger, Bryce Harper, would be back in the lineup for tonight’s series opener in Baltimore.
“He’ll be in there tomorrow,” Baker said, after Harper sat out all three with the Phillies while resting a sore groin in his left leg, which he tweaked during the third of three with the Arizona Diamondbacks in D.C. last week.
“He could have been in there today,” Baker added. “It was my decision not to take a chance, especially with the threat of wet conditions, which ended up happening.”
“Just didn’t want to take a chance,” Baker said.
“I’m looking at it with Bryce in the big picture.”
Before the injury, Harper was off to a strong start this season, with a .376/.504/.723 line, eight doubles and nine home runs in 28 games and 127 plate appearances over which he’s been worth 2.1 fWAR.
In his career in Camden Yards, the 2010 No. 1 overall pick is 8 for 37 (.216/.275/.351) with two doubles and a home run in 10 games and 40 PAs.
Harper had slowed down some before the injury, going 5 for 22 with a home run, six walks and eight Ks through six games on the homestand before he was injured last week.
Harper is back in right tonight for the first game of the four-game, two-city series with the Orioles.
HERE’S THE NATIONALS LINEUP FOR THE FIRST OF TWO WITH THE O’S IN OPACY:
NOTE: No Trea Turner tonight as Wilmer Difo gets a start at short and leads off vs the Orioles. We’ll talk to Dusty Baker shortly and see if it’s just a day off for Turner.