A few Weeks ago, I posted a link in this column to an article that identified three questions for the Nationals in 2013. One of those questions was regarding a possible sophomore slump by OF Bryce Harper. I was pretty critical of that article given the player Harper is and has become. The Spring is proving that to be right.
Yesterday, Harper went 3 for 3 in Washington's 6-4 loss to Houston. That perfect day at the plate raised Harper's spring batting average to .459 having collected 28 hits in 61 at bats in 22 games. Certainly doesn't sound like a slump is on the way for the 20 year old phenom. Of Harper's 28 hits, he has 5 doubles, 1 triple, and 3 home runs. So plan ahead if you want this non-slumping Harper to be in your office or room. The Nats announced that the Harper bobble head is set for June 23 at Nationals Park.
Speaking of Harper, Federal Baseball notes that Bryce Harper stars in a new TV commerical for MLB for Openign Day, titiled "I Play for October." Wanna see the commercial? Scroll to the bottom of this article.
Adam LaRoche collected 2 hits yesterday including his 3rd spring home run. Wilson Ramos also collected 2 hits, raising his spring average to .300 (10 for 30).
Chris Young pitched 4 effective innings in his final game with Washington, as he has opted out of his contract. Young allowed just 2 hits, 1 walk, and 1 run. You can't blame Young for opting out, the guys wants to pitch in the majors and has had an effective spring. He knew when signing on with the Nats in the off-season that his opportunities in DC were limited. Mor eon the Young opt out: Wash Times, CSN Washington,
“I’m realistic that the roster is full. I understand that,” Young said. “We’ve talked about maybe trying to work something to where I can stay. We’re not there right now. But there’s interest from other clubs. I just have to weigh all the options and see what’s best for me and my family.
“I love it here. I would love to stay. This has been just a terrific spring training, being around a great group of baseball people. There’s nothing negative to stay about this place – maybe that they 15 pitchers deep. I’d like to work something out if I could be here. But if not, I understand the circumstances.”
After Young departed, normally effective reliever Craig Stammen was pounded by the Astros for 6 hits and 5 runs over 1.1 innings. OK, get it out of your system now Stammen.
Neon Tommy blog writes an NL East preview. For the record, they believe the Nats will finish first and collect 102 wins. Our predictiosn for the season are coming soon.
District Sports Page has published a round table on the coming Washington Nationals season, that sits just 6 days away.
Nats manager Davey Johnson is not confident that Henry Rodriguez will be ready for the start of the season. Rodriguez has complained of elbow soreness. That could be good news for veteran JC Romero, signed by the Nats last week. In fact, given the miniscule roster spots actually in contention, Romero could be the surprise, given he just arrived. More on Rodriguez and Romero. That spot may be the only thing left to accomplish in the final 6 days.
The Nats have also outrighted Carlos Rivera to the minors.
Dan Haren is hoping to return to his work horse status this season with the Nats.
Adam Kilgore wrote on prospect Steve Souza and whether he may be prepared for a breakout season in Harrisburg (AA). Speaking of minors, the Syracuse (AAA) roster is beginning to take shape. More morning readings from Nationals Prospects.
New Bryce Harper opening day TV commerical from MLB.