One of Major League Baseball’s biggest names will be out of the lineup for a few days, and the struggling Washington Nationals will be without their leading slugger. 20-year-old golden boy Bryce Harper will reportedly miss the next few days of action after aggravating a previously sore left knee three different times during Sunday’s 6-1 win over the Phillies.
Harper famously endured a violent collision with the right field wall at Dodger Stadium, and manager Davey Johnson doesn’t seem to be thrilled with Harper’s “all-out” playing style at the moment.
“If he’d quit head-first sliding, he’d be a lot better off. He’ll probably be down a few days. I don’t know if there’s fluid on the knee or what, but he was certainly gimpy.”
The headline of Johnson’s comments would certainly be that Harper will “probably be down a few days”, but if Harper doesn’t have the manager’s full backing on head-first sliding, etc., it could pose problems as his career moves toward the future. Harper has been utterly fantastic this season, leading the team with a .973 OPS and 12 home runs, but the Nationals have “struggled” to a 26-24 record and trail the Atlanta Braves by 5 games entering Atlanta’s Sunday night tilt with New York.
In addition to Harper’s injury, Washington will be without starting pitcher Ross Detwiler, who hit the DL on Sunday with a strained oblique. There likely isn’t long-term worry in Harper’s current injury, but if the superstar and his manager don’t see eye-to-eye, the story could be just beginning in Washington. It will be extremely interesting to see the type of deportment that Harper shows when he arrives back in the lineup later in the week.