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

Spring training is an important time for managers to be able to gauge what they’re working with. For the most part, rosters are predetermined based on offseason acquisitions and past performances. There are, however, a few spots that need to be filled with younger players. The winter months give managers and coaches time to evaluate players who are on the bubble, assuming the coaches don’t withhold information from the manager. Such is the case with Bryce Harper and the Nationals. Apparently Washington’s coaches are trying to curb manager Davey Johnson’s excitement.

“And a funny thing happened today,” Johnson said according to the Washington Post. “They were talking Rendon, LaRoche, Lombardozzi, Espi, damn near everybody over there. I asked them, I said, ‘I didn’t hear one word about Harper? Is he there?’ They said, ‘He’s okay, he’s fine.’ They don’t want to make a comment. Because they like him. They don’t want to try to influence me in any manner.”

Harper looks sharp, and the coaches don’t want Johnson jumping the gun. The prodigy is only 19 and struggled last year in the minors, but he admitted some of that was a result of boredom. The Nationals don’t want to bring him up until he’s ready, but Johnson’s argument is that he has a pretty good track record of unleashing young players.

“I had Dwight Gooden when he was 18 pitching for me in the Class AAA World Series,” he said. “Did I care that he was 18? I told the organization that I thought the best pitcher down below wasn’t in Double A. He was in A ball, in Lynchburg, a guy named Dwight Gooden. They let me have him for the playoffs, and he won two games. I knew he could flat-out pitch. I don’t look at age or color – you can either play or you can’t.”

The Nationals’ marketing department is certainly anxious to get Harper going, but he is young enough that the team can afford to wait. Johnson and the rest of the team would probably love the excitement, but the last thing you want to do is stunt his growth. If I had to guess, I’d say Harper will be in the minors to start the season.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Aaron Rodgers wins NFL MVP

VCU G Briante Weber suffers major knee injury in loss

Short selling leaves hundreds of fans without S.B. tickets

Hamilton, Edmonds' spouses to appear on 'Real Housewives'

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix trolls LSU over Kevin Steele hire

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jerome Bettis elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

Report: Duncan suing financial adviser, lost $20 million

Bret Bielema wanted Dolphins to draft Russell Wilson early

Nick Diaz apologizes to fans for skipping open workout

NFLPA President compares Goodell to a 2-year-old

NFL explains how Super Bowl balls will be prepped

2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame class announced

Anderson Silva beats Nick Diaz in return to octagon

WATCH: 'SNL' mocks Super Bowl

Sabres had a horrific month of January

Ole Miss uses Katy Perry as prop in recruiting

PHOTO: Ezekiel Elliott gets new national title tattoo

WATCH: Rondo takes brutal knee to face from teammate

Pig auctioned off at halftime of college basketball game

Should the Super Bowl be played on a Saturday?

Underwear company shows support for Marshawn Lynch

WATCH: WVU player flips opponent the double-bird

Five NFL players who could be cap casualties in 2015

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

2015 Hall of Fame class announced

Aaron Rodgers wins NFL MVP

Tim Duncan suing financial adviser?

Five likely cap casualties of 2015

Making the case for NFL co-MVPs

WATCH: Tom Brady sings about balls

Missy Elliott to join Katy Perry at SB?

Obama zings Pats over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's POY candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots vs. Seahawks

The 13 things we want to see in Super Bowl XLIX

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

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.