By Corey R. Cunningham
The Nationals announced on Friday, they are bringing up young talented OF Bryce Harper who is currently in AAA Syracuse. Harper will be filling the role left by 3B Ryan Zimmerman who went on the DL retroactive to April 21st.
To my surprise, Manager Davey Johnson announced, he will be playing Harper in LF and will be batting him seventh. According to the Nationals they needed a left handed bat in the lineup. Harper I guess fits that particular role and will get his opportunity. No shocker to me, they did not bring up Bryce Harper on Friday, why you ask, due to South Paw Clayton Kershaw. I am not a Harper fan at all, and if he is ready, then he is ready, but why not bring him up against Kershaw? Cause he is a left handed batter against a lefty? Poor excuse for a guy who will need to hit left handed pitching in the near future. I just think they didn’t want him going 0-3 with 3 K.
Harper was slated to start the season with Washington, however, the Skipper convinced Rizzo to give Harper some time at AAA Syracuse. Harper did manage to hold a .286 BA through spring training. Harper has 20 games in with the Syracuse Chiefs, most of them in CF, some in RF and only 2 games played in LF. He is only carrying a .250 BA, with 1 HR, 3 RBI, 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 SB, and 1 CS. He did strikeout 14 times, compared to getting 9 BB.
Harper will face RHP Chad Billingsley on Saturday. Chad is 2-1, with a 3.04 ERA, 19 K and a 0.93 WHIP. Harper might have a tough task ahead of him, as Billingsley has pitched better to left handed opponents this year thus far. He has allowed just a .182 BAA, with 10 K. My prediction for Harper on opening night 0-3.