For a player who was concerned about whether he would even be ready to start a rehab assignment by Wednesday (he ended up starting Tuesday), Bryce Harper seems to be falling back into his old routines quickly. And that's a good thing if you are a Washington Nationals fan. Harper had an impressive performance for the Class-A Potomac Nationals last night.
Harper did not play in the field says Andrew Simon of MLB.com. Instead, he DH'd and had three at-bats in the game. In those three at-bats, Harper managed to connect on a home run in his second at-bat of the game. In his other two at-bats, Harper made the opposing pitcher work and hit the ball hard in one of those at-bats. He did take a foul ball off his foot, but he was not injured aside for some minor pain.
"His knee feels good," Potomac manager Brian Daubach said of Harper, who again did not speak with the media. "Now it's just about his timing and getting more at-bats."
It looks like Harper's next step will be to move on to the Double-A afiliate of the Nationals in Harrisburg. He is not expected to come off the DL until Monday of next week at the earliest. Of course, if he continues hitting like this, the Nationals will want him back as soon as possible, but his health is the main concern.
Harper suffered the initial injury to his knee earlier in the season. He exacerbated that injury in his now-famous run into the wall at Dodger Stadium. Harper continued trying to play through the bursitis in his knee, but he eventually gave in to the pain and went on the DL. The Nationals have proven to be a completely different team without him, so his return will be much-anticipated.
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