Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/15/14

The Nationals optioned Bryce Harper to Triple-A Syracuse Sunday, the same day he struck out four times in a spring training loss to the Tigers. Harper was probably headed to the minors to begin the season regardless of his performance in spring training, but missing six games with a calf injury and then punching out four times in the same game probably made it easier for the team to send him down.

The interesting part about Bryce starting in the minors is that the team plans to play him in center field. The Washington Post says the team sees him making it to the majors as a center fielder, which would make things easier for Jayson Werth who feels comfortable playing right field.

GM Mike Rizzo also wants Harper to experience every level in the minors, so that’s why he’s starting in Triple-A, the only level he hasn’t played yet. It’s a smart move for the Nats on a few fronts. One, starting Harper at Triple-A should motivate him to reach his goal of making the majors because t will give him more time to mature as a person and player. Additionally, it keeps his MLB service time clock from starting, delaying his free agency.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

The last time the Lions won in Green Bay

Carmelo Anthony: The Knicks are dying

Andre Johnson willing to take pay cut with Texans?

Mets star David Wright reaches out to sons of slain NYPD officer

Panthers coach replaces break-in victims’ Christmas presents

Bruce Arians benches Logan Thomas on Christmas Day

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Richard Sherman: Marshawn Lynch having MVP season

Curt Schilling tweeted advice to Johnny Manziel

Aaron Rodgers buys TVs for Packers teammates

Harbaugh smiled when asked about Michigan's bday tweet

Jackie Robinson West Little League accused of cheating

Police: Fire that burned down McClain's home 'suspicious'

What if Bear Bryant coached in the NFL?

The year’s 10 most notable sports media stories

'Roberto' Gronkowski wishes Pats fans Feliz Navidad

Are the Seahawks back on track?

WATCH: LeBron gets standing ovation from Heat fans in return

15 defunct bowls that leave the holidays feeling empty

Should the NFL's playoff seeding system change?

WATCH: Kenny Smith pushes Shaq into a Christmas tree

Q&A with Rich Eisen; TNF, DirecTV and living in LA

Is the NFL playoff system heading south?

WATCH: Quincy Acy ejected for throwing punch at John Wall

Billy Beane did not want to trade Josh Donaldson

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

What if Bear Bryant coached in the NFL?

Carmelo Anthony: The Knicks are dying

The last time the Lions won in Green Bay

Year's most notable sports media stories

'Roberto Gronkowski wishes fans Feliz Navidad

Are the Seahawks back on track?

Wright reaches out to slain officer's sons

Q&A with Rich Eisen; TNF, DirecTV and living in LA

Dan Le Batard sums up Miami's relationship with LeBron

Is the NFL playoff system heading south?

WATCH: Announcer botches call

Police: McClain fire 'suspicious'

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.