The Washington Nationals currently sit in third place in the National League East division with a 14-12 record. That could change drastically with Bryce Harper out until July due to a thumb surgery that could cause all sorts of trouble for the team going forward.
Harper suffered an injury to his hand after he slid headfirst into third base on Friday night. The triple netted him three runs batted in, but it also just might be the costliest hit of his young career.
“I slid into the bag and I caught it a little bit,” Harper said after the 11-1 win over the San Diego Padres, according to ESPN. “Went into the dugout, swung a couple in the cage, felt fine. Went out to the outfield, it swelled up a little bit. … So I got in and got some treatment on it.”
Harper was determined to take his game to the next level in 2014. That could still happen, but there’s no question that the injury will set him back quite a bit. Baseball players are all about staying in a consistent routine that allows them to get in a groove at the plate and in the field. Missing over two months means that Harper will have to get in his routine all over again, which means his production will not be where it needs to be in the heart of the season.
The Nationals are already dealing with several injuries to key players, but Harper’s torn ligament in his left thumb is by far the most devastating. Considering the Atlanta Braves are playing like one of the best teams in baseball, falling any farther off from them in the standings means Washington may never be able to climb back to the top of the mountain this year.