The road back to the MLB for Bryce Harper began Tuesday night with the Washington Nationals‘ Class-A affiliate Potomac. For Harper, who has been sidelined with knee bursitis, it was his first game action since May 26.
While he played just three innings, as expected, Harper reportedly showed signs of his old self. According to James Wagner of the Washington Post, Harper went 1-for-1 with a double, walk and a run scored. Harper stretched a bloop-single in to a double but was picked off at second after having too big of a lead. After drawing a seven-pitch walk, Harper then hustled to from first to third on a single and scored when the next batter hit a single.
According to Wagner, Harper showed no signs of his left knee bothering him. In the outfield, Harper only saw one ball come his way and it bounced over the wall for a ground-rule-double.
Luckily for the Nationals, Harper appears to be back to his old self. Since Harper went down with this injury, the Nationals have struggled to a 12-14 record and have certainly lost some spark offensively. In the outfield, manager Davey Johnson has been playing musical-outfielders as Steve Lombardozzi, Roger Bernadina and Jeff Kobernus have all had stints in the outfield along with the regulars of Jayson Werth and Denard Span.
If the reports of Harper showing no signs of slowing are true, then that could possibly mean that Harper will be back soon. The fact that Potomac is the closest minor-league affiliate to D.C. also points to that notion as well. Travel expenses to bring Harper back to the MLB team in D.C. will be much less than if he were to have been sent to Syracuse or Harrisburg.
After their current home series with the Arizona Diamondbacks, which the Nationals won game one of on Tuesday night, the team will then head up to New York to play the New York Mets before returning to Nats Park for a seven-game homestand. If Harper’s condition is as positive as it sounds, you have to expect he’ll be back in time for the start of the next homestand or even when the team heads north to play their division rival in the Mets.