Bryce Harper remained out of the Nationals’ lineup as he recovers from a strained left calf, which scratched him from the lineup Thursday. Manager Davey Johnson will put Harper through a small workout today to determine if he could return to games tomorrow.
“We were both on the training table together,” said Johnson, who recently pulled his hamstring. “He was on one, and I was on the other. I might be healthier than he is. He still had a little discomfort in there, probably more than me. But he says he’s ready. I told him, ‘When you have a full workout and you can run around and there’s no pain in there, they I’ll run you out there.’ ”
Harper faces long odds as a 19-year-old trying to make the Nationals, having taken fewer than 600 professional plate appearances and needing to overcome a strong financial incentive for the Nationals’ to at least start him in the minors. It can’t help that Harper will miss his fifth game today, but Johnson said the time off will not be a deciding factor.
“I wouldn’t say it hurts him,” Johnson said. “The thing I don’t want to do is rush him, and hurt him that way. . . . The jury’s still out.”