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Bryce Harper leading off in Washington Nationals’ lineup vs the Pittsburgh Pirates...

Davey Martinez entertained the idea of having Bryce Harper lead off this Spring. He’s gone and done it.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

You read that right, Bryce Harper is leading off for the Washington Nationals tonight in the second of four with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Nationals’ skipper Martinez discussed the possibility of having Harper lead off this Spring when he was asked if he’d consider it.

“Maybe,” Martinez said, as quoted by’s Jamal Collier. “We’ll talk about it. Play with it, but before I do, I’ll definitely have a conversation with him.”

Martinez entertained a hypothetical scenario in which having Harper lead off would make sense.

“We’re struggling a bit offensively, create something early, create some excitement. What better excitement than having Harper lead off with a homer?” Martinez asked rhetorically.

After the Pirates issued Harper his 37th and 38th walks of the season in the series opener last night, the first-year manager talked about the difficulty of protecting Harper.

“I don’t think there’s anybody that’s going to protect Harper, he’s that good,” Martinez said.

“He really is, and like he said, and I told him, I said, ‘Take your walks,’ when you start getting hot like in the beginning, he was hitting his pitches, and he was hitting them far, so he’ll start hitting, no doubt about it, but like I said, he’s got to be patient.”

Harper has been struggling over the past few weeks, with a .179/.431/.256 line, one home run, (which is his only extra base hit in the last 13 games), 18 walks, and 10 strikeouts over that stretch, going back to the start of the Nationals’ last road trip.

Will having Harper lead off spark something in the 25-year-old slugger, who starts the night with a .247/.458/.528 line, down from .300/.479/.740 at the start of the last road trip?