Found March 19, 2012 on
The Nats Blog:
top prospect Bryce Harper
was sent down to Triple-A Syracuse on Sunday after going 1-for-5 with four strikeouts in the spring contest against the Tigers. It finally ended any speculation that he could make the majors on April 5th.
After starting the spring 5-for-11 with a .500 OBP, Harper cooled off a bit, allowing his slash line to drop to .286/.333/.357. Though still impressive, one point of interest from his appearances in Florida was his lack of power, as he failed to hit a homer in 28 at bats. The biggest news from the send down, though, is Harper will primarily play centerfield in Syracuse.
Harper's move to CF is significant, as it could indicate that the Nationals are happier with Jayson Werth in right field than they are with him in center. It could also mean that the Nats official search for an every day CF is over for the time being. With Chien-Ming Wang's injury, it was unlikely that the Nats would try to trade LHP John Lannan, and the depth in the Nats minor league system isn't quite as significant as it once was to come up with a trade not including Lannan.
Harper is often touted as a five-tool player, and his speed, range, and absolutely remarkable arm would certainly be beneficial for the Nats in center. However, the main concern with any center fielder is durability. The grind of roaming center can easily wear on a player over 162 games, even with the occasional day off. The Nats likely believe Harper, still just a teenager, is better equipped to deal with the day-to-day rigors of that position than Werth.
Watching Harper learn yet another new position, remember he was a catcher in college and spent time in both left and right field last season, will be fun as the 2012 season in Syracuse begins. His development there will help determine how quickly he ascends to DC this season, combined with the Super Two date that has financial implications at the end of his contract.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Bryce Harper optioned to Triple-A Syracuse.
He's just not ready yet. See you soon (June?) in Washington, kid.
"He knows how much I love his talent. He is a special player. He needs to go down there and do the same thing he is doing. He doesn't need to change anything for me. He just needs to go play." (Davey Johnson, via Nationals.com, 3/18/2012)
The Washington Nationals have decided to demote future phenom Bryce Harper to their Triple A affiliate in Syracuse so that he can work on his defensive game in center field. Harper, who is still just 19-years-old, will begin the 2012 MLB season in the minor leagues, but is expected to get the call up at some point after honing his skills in the outfield.
Harper was a...
The Washington Nationals sent prized prospect Bryce Harper to Triple-A Syracuse on Sunday.
Harper, the No. 1 pick in the 2010 draft, was demoted following Sunday's game in which he went 1-for-5 with four strikeouts.
The 19-year-old Harper, who was a catcher in high school, is expected to see the bulk of his playing time in center field at Syracuse.
Harper batted .318 with...
So THAT'S what the Stephen Strasburg Bobblehead looks like!
Stephen Strasburg Bobblehead giveaway is Saturday, April 14, at Nationals Park (Buy tickets here). Based on the image above (via Nationals.com), we can safely say that the Baseball Jesus Bobblehead actually resembles Baseball Jesus. And, at least from the angle above, he doesn't appear to be flipping the bird...
10) Just because he might be the best player in their everyday lineup doesn't make him old enough to buy beer9) Team can't keep the fan base down with him out there on Opening Day8) If you start his "clock" too soon, he becomes a Yankee before the full extent of his powers are shown7) Have hate in their heart for fantasy baseball reachers who just have to have the...
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...
The strength of the 2012 Washington Nationals lies in its pitching staff. Between its young talent and veteran presence and depth, this team will rely on strong pitching performances almost daily. Their offense is a different story, though. With Michael Morse and Adam LaRoche hurt, it could be a rough stretch for offensive production.
Both Morse and LaRoche believe they will...
The Washington Nationals aren’t taking any chances this spring and have shut down outfielder Michael Morse and first baseman Adam LaRoche for at least a week.Morse has been battling a strained right lat muscle while LaRoche is nursing a left ankle sprain. Morse underwent an MRI this week but no damage was revealed. He is still in a considerable amount of pain and could miss Opening...
Last season, the Nationals stuck to a strict plan with Jordan Zimmermann’s workload. This season, the team has another workload to manage with intense scrutiny in the person of Stephen Strasburg. While the Nats have hinted at to how they will proceed with him — they don’t want to jerk him around, they will likely keep him to the same 160-inning cap as Zimmermann last year —...
In this week's episode, The Nats Blog's Joe Drugan and Capitol Baseball's Craig MacHenry talk about Washington Nationals spring training.
We talk about:
Bryce Harper's Move to Center Field
John Lannan's Struggles
More Roster Cuts
... and a few other topics. We hope you'll enjoy the show.
Subscribe to and rate our...
The Washington Nationals have signed Xavier Nady to a minor league deal, Amanda Comak of the Washington Times reports. Nady will report directly to minor league camp.
Bill Ladson of MLB.com notes that the deal does not include any out dates and Nady will start the season at Triple-A.
Last season, Nady battled the injury bug appearing in only 82 games for Arizona. In those games,...
(Eds: Updates throughout. With AP Photos.) By ROB MAADDI AP Sports Writer Gio Gonzalez heard the rumors that the Philadelphia Phillies were interested before the Washington Nationals traded for him.
He's just fine with that.
''I'm happy here,'' Gonzalez said after a spring outing against the New York Yankees.
These aren't the same old Nationals...
God’s Favorite Links is Cosby Sweaters’ brand new link dump feature. We’ll be posting cool stuff from all over the web, and it’ll all be compiled into a bullet-point format. Cool, eh? Let’s get rolling!
Not so fast, Bryce Harper. A lot of us expected you to make the Washington Nationals’ roster straight out of training camp, but you’re being sent to play Triple-A...