Bryce Harper arrived at Space Coast Stadium this morning at 7:15, almost 11 hours before tonight’s first pitch. When he found the complex locked, he drove somewhere to eat breakfast. By the time Manager Davey Johnson walked in the door at 8:30, Harper had already returned in time to chat.
“From all that information,” Johnson said, “I figured he was anxious to get back in the lineup.”
Harper will get his wish tomorrow. Johnson wanted to watch Harper work out today before he finalized his decision to start Harper against the Braves on Wednesday night in Orlando. This afternoon, Harper shagged balls, sprinting across the outfield, and took full batting practice. He has his strained left calf wrapped, but he showed no issues today.
In other injury news, Michael Morse felt some discomfort in his strained right lat throwing from farther than 90 feet yesterday, Johnson said. He received more treatment on the lat today, which followed a cortisone shot Saturday. Morse is in the lineup today and tomorrow as the designated hitter, but he has not played much left field in games this spring.
“I’m not that worried about it,” Johnson said. “I’m sure he’ll be fine.”
Rick Ankiel will miss his fourth game today with tightness in his left hamstring. “If it was the regular season, he’d play,” Johnson said. “There’s really no need. He probably needs a couple days.” Johnson anticipated Ankiel would return Thursday or Friday.