Former Nationals soft-tossing right-hander Livan Hernandez will start for Houston, a delicious subplot on its own. But with a right-hander on the mound (and right fielder Jayson Werth, since he’s a veteran, unlikely to make the trip), Johnson suggested Harper would start in right field.
“That works out nice,” Johnson said. “I’m looking at more left-handed presence. Right out of the chute, they’re going to throw a right-hander against us. I can get the left-handed presence in there. Though I’d prefer it’d be a harder thrower.”
While Harper is a longshot to make the Nationals’ roster, Johnson wants to Nationals management to keep an open mind about giving him the starting right field spot on opening day.
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— Tom Boswell details the effect Gio Gonzalez’s parents had on his life – and on his unique curveball.
— Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper are still circling each other, but Gonzalez’s curveball stole the show at Day One of live batting practice.