(Gene J. Puskar, AP)

As expected, the Nationals officially activated Bryce Harper from the disabled list on Monday. He missed 31 games with left knee bursitis and last played on May 26. The return of the Nationals’ best overall player before he aggravated his injury injects a powerful bat back into the lineup and brings a measure of hope that the team’s inconsistent offensive production could improve.

Harper went 4 for 11 in four rehab games across Class A Potomac and Class AA Harrisburg last week. In order to make room for Harper on the active roster, the Nationals optioned right-handed reliever Erik Davis to Class AAA Syracuse.

Manager Davey Johnson had said he wanted to return to the original construction of the lineup with Harper’s return, hitting Jayson Werth second in the lineup and placing Harper back at third. Anthony Rendon had been hitting second while Harper was on the disabled list and Werth had been in the middle of the order.


1. Denard Span, CF

2. Jayson Werth, RF

3. Bryce Harper, LF

4. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B

5. Adam LaRoche, 1B

6. Ian Desmond, SS

7. Anthony Rendon, 2B

8. Kurt Suzuki, C

9. Jordan Zimmermann, SP


1. Norichika Aoki, RF

2. Jean Segura, SS

3. Carlos Gomez, CF

4. Aramis Ramirez, 3B

5. Jonathan Lucroy, C

6. Rickie Weeks, 2B

7. Juan Francisco, 1B

8. Sean Helton, LF

9. Yovani Gallardo, SP