Tag:Bryce Harper
Posted on: March 23, 2011 3:15 pm
 

Harper recovering from sprained ankle

By Evan Brunell

Bryce Harper is recovering well from a sprained ankle suffered Monday during a minor-league intrasquad game, but it is unclear whether he will be ready for opening day as MLB.com reports.

Harper is hoping to get back on the field by Friday, but is still showing effects of the sprain as a slight limp Wednesday indicated. X-rays were negative, so it shouldn't be long until the Nationals phenom is ready for game action.

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Posted on: March 21, 2011 12:59 pm
 

Harper exits game after injury

By Evan Brunell

HarperBryce Harper exited a spring-training game on Monday after hitting the first-base bag on a groundball to short and then collapsing in pain, MLB.com reports.

The injury was later diagnosed as a sprained ankle and is day-to-day. He was recently optioned to the minor leagues and was playing in an intrasquad game.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: March 16, 2011 5:38 pm
 

Hagerstown getting ready for Harper-mania

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Bryce HarperAnyone who has been to a minor league baseball game has seen plenty of odd promotions and sponsorships, but this one is new to me. At Class A Hagerstown (Md.) this season, one player's at-bats will be sponsored.

When you take into account that Hagerstown is the South Atlantic League affiliate of the Nationals, you can make a wild guess as to which player is being sponsored.

According to a press release (via D.C. Sports Bog), each of Harper's at-bats will be announced thusly: "Now batting, Bryce Harper, brought to you by Miss Utility, reminding you to call 811 before you dig."

Last season the Suns missed out on Stephen Strasburg, but saw the excitement generated at Double-A and Triple-A for each of his starts and understand they can cash in even more with an everyday player with equal hype. Of course, Harper has yet to be given his assignment, so the Suns are playing it cool until he is. He was optioned to the Suns this weekend, but final assignments aren't expected until closer to the end of camp.

"We want to make sure he is coming for sure," Suns general manager Bill Farley told the Hagerstown Herald-Mail. "The merchandising will be huge. Everything has been ordered. We are just waiting to see before putting it in motion."

The Suns already have orders for Suns jerseys and T-shirt with Harper's name, but are waiting on word of his assignment. They luckily have a window to get ready, as the team will start with eight road games at Rome, Ga., and Lexington, Ky., before their home opener against the Lakewood Blue Claws.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: March 12, 2011 5:22 pm
Edited on: March 12, 2011 8:53 pm
 

Bryce Harper sent to minors

By Evan Brunell

Nationals phenom Bryce Harper has been reassigned to minor-league camp, the Washington Post is reporting.

The 18-year-old outfielder, whose skills in the batter's box made him first pick in last year's draft, had avoided Washington's second round of cuts Friday, but fell to the axe Saturday.

Harper-mania
Harper

Harper appears likely to open the year at Class-A Hagerstown, which is a mild surprise. Harper appeared in the Arizona Fall League, a showcase for baseball's top prospects that are of Double- and Triple-A talent-level; even prospects who've played in the majors play in the AFL.

Given that GM Mike Rizzo didn't rule out a callup this year (likely in September, if at all), it's doubtful Harper will remain at Hagerstown for long, as he'll likely spend the majority of his season at either high-Class A or Double-A.

While Harper expected the move, he admitted it was difficult to accept. 

"I've never not made a team," he told the Post.

Harper also spoke on his move to the minors Friday night to MLB.com .

"I have to go through the grind of playing 142 games a year. I've never done that," he said. "It's something I have to go through and I have to learn. I'm really excited to go through it. Hopefully, I will get a September callup or something like that -- maybe even earlier."

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Posted on: March 12, 2011 12:39 pm
Edited on: March 12, 2011 1:52 pm
 

Pepper: No more Cubs-White Sox rivalry

Guillen, Quade

By Evan Brunell

It's never quite made sense why intra-city rivals hate each other in baseball, especially since both teams are usually in opposite leagues.

The Mets and Yankees have a healthy dislike for each other, the Giants and Athletics don't quite have a rivalry but don't have a need for the other (especially since the Giants are blocking the A's move to San Jose) and the White Sox and Cubs take home the prize for most contentious intra-city rival.

But these fans should be thrilled to have two teams to root for. And yet, Chicago has been split between the north and south sides for years. And admittedly, both sides have ratcheted up the rhetoric in recent years. Think Michael Barrett punching A.J. Pierzynski, or when ChiSox GM Kenny Williams said "The unfortunate thing for me is it’s a shame that a certain segment of Chicago refused to enjoy a baseball championship being brought to their city [in 2005 by the White Sox]. The only thing I can say is, 'Happy Anniversary.'"

Williams was referring to the 100th year anniversary of the Cubs not winning the World Series. Safe to say, as late as a few years ago, both sides had no use for each other.

That's changed.

"I have a good relationship with [board chairman] Jerry [Reinsdorf], same with Kenny, and it’s no secret that [manager] Ozzie [Guillen] and I have had that relationship for a while and he knows that," Cubs GM Jim Hendry said. "I talked to him before the World Series in ’05. I don’t like [the Sox] six days a year, that’s how I try to look at it."

Williams concurred earlier this season, saying that he would pull for the Cubs to win the World Series if the White Sox were out of it due to how much the community and fans would profit from such a win. Could there be a thaw in the rivalry? Stay tuned... (Chicago Sun-Times)

NO GRAY HAIR: Guillen is a fan of new Cubs skipper Mike Quade (both of them are in the photo), who is an unusual choice to manage the club given the team's more recent high-profile selections. While Guillen admitted managing in Chicago is tough, he feels Quade can get through it, and guaranteed something Quade probably appreciates. "I know [Quade] is not going to lose his hair, that's for sure," Guillen said. "I guarantee that he won't lose his hair. And he's not going to get gray." (ChicagoBreakingSports.com)

SCANDAL? WHAT SCANDAL? Even though the Bernie Madoff fallout is threatening the Wilpons' hold on the Mets, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber believes the Wilpons would be "a great fit" for a MLS team. The league is hoping to add a second team into New York City. (New York Times)

MOR(S)E IS BETTER: Waiting with baited breath to find out who wins the left field job for the Nationals? It's not Roger Bernadina or Rick Ankiel, at least so far. Manager Jim Riggleman tabs longtime utilityman Michael Morse the favorite, who is having a hot spring and showed life in his bat last season. Don't worry Roger and Rick, you're still in the hunt for the center field job, competing with Nyjer Morgan. (Washington Post)

IT'S TIME TO SEE ADRIAN: Adrian Gonzalez will make his spring training debut for the Red Sox Saturday at 1:05 p.m. Gonzalez has been slowed by rehabilitating his surgically-repaired right shoulder but is still expected to be ready for Opening Day. (MLB.com)

NUMBER 42: For those that are fans of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Larry Granillo is here for you. Penning his Wezen-Ball blog, Granillo comes up with some Vogon poetry on baseball. You'll have to click through for the rest, but here's the opening verse: "Oh round orb, An epidermis-bovine corpuscle, Sutured in red, Resembling the estrused stripplegrats of Kria." Yep, Vogon poetry -- the third-worst poetry in the universe. (Baseball Prospectus)

PUT ON YOUR MEAN FACE: Kevin Jepsen is likely to setup for the Angels this season, but could eventually take the ball at the end of games. However, ex-Angels closer Troy Percival thinks Jepsen needs to stop being so nice if he wants to succeed as a closer. And you can bet Jepsen is listening. (Los Angeles Times)

HEEEEERE'S RONNY: Slowed by visa issues, Mets backup catcher Ronny Paulino finally arrived in camp. The Mets plan to be aggressive with him so he is ready to go, but still has to serve the final eight games of a 50-game suspension for violating the substance abuse program last season. (New York Post)

HARPERMANIA: An excellent feature by Dave Sheinin comes your way on Bryce Harper. The takeaway? Get excited. (Washington Post)

I'M A GIANT NOW: Longtime Padres player, coach and broadcaster Tim Flannery followed Bruce Bochy to San Francisco after the 2007 season and now considers him a true Giant. "It's black and white, cut and dried," Flannery said. "We're Giants. I had nice experiences down there, but it was all to prepare me to be a San Francisco Giant." (San Jose Mercury News)

'ZONA'S NOT GETTING YOUNG: These Michael Young-to-Diamondbacks rumors won't die and recently surfaced a few days ago. And yet, word is still trickling down to reporters that a trade is unlikely to happen for a variety of reasons. For those rooting for Young to head to the desert, look elsewhere. (Arizona Republic)

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Posted on: March 11, 2011 12:25 pm
Edited on: March 11, 2011 12:59 pm
 

Bryce Harper survives first round of cuts

By Evan Brunell

Bryce Harper doesn't have to worry about getting a pink slip just yet.

Harper-mania
Harper

The Nationals have begun making their first round of spring training cuts, which are usually comprised of top prospects too far from the majors or those who were serving as depth for the first batch of intrasquad and spring training games. Harper won't be among those cuts, the Washington Post reveals.

So far, those reassigned include 1Bs Michael Aubrey and Kevin Barker, OFs Jonathan Van Every and Jeff Frazier and catchers Jhonatan Solano and Carlos Maldonado.

Don't get excited -- Harper still has zero chance of making the major leagues on opening day. While a September callup isn't out of the question, he has impressed early on in camp and there's no reason to shift Harper to minor league camp just yet.

Harper is off to a 6-for-16 start and has appeared in every spring training game as a substitute, so is getting plenty of looks. The Nationals want him to gain experience and get used to interacting with the major-league staff.

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Posted on: March 10, 2011 9:57 am
Edited on: March 10, 2011 12:02 pm
 

Pepper: Rites of spring


By C. Trent Rosecrans

Every spring we get excited and pick winners for every division, count out teams, give a couple of other teams a free ride to the World Series and then sit back and are surprised when it doesn't happen.

The thing is, in baseball and in life, things change quickly and can change drastically.

Since the start of spring training games -- a little less than two weeks -- we've seen the Cardinals and Brewers lose some of their luster in the NL Central and the Phillies go from 110 wins to a struggling offense. We've even seen Carlos Zambrano be the calm, collected, sane member of the Cubs staff.

It's a rite of spring to project and to then react and overreact to anything we see on the field in these four weeks of meaningless games. And even when meaningful games start, there's enough time for injuries to happen, players to return and players to emerge to really know what's going to happen at the end.

And that's the fun of it. We don't know. You never know.

Sure, we can all expect a Red Sox-Phillies World Series, but there's no guarantee that'll happen. But if it does, I guarantee the road there will be completely different than we all imagined. And that's why this game is so great. You just never know, even if you think you know.

FEELING 'HITTERISH': Nationals über-prospect Bryce Harper has been nearly as entertaining off the field as on it, as he coin a new term on Wednesday.

From the Washington Post:

"I feel really confident in myself. There's guys who are going to come after you. I want to hit right now. I'm feeling hitterish. I'm trying to go up there and get some hacks in. I'm not going to be here for a long time. I want to try to go up there and get my hits in."

So, what's the definition of "hitterish" Adam Kilgore asked?

"You wake up in the morning, and you're feeling hitterish, you're going to get a hit that day," Harper said. "That's what it is. If you get a hit every day, you're feeling hitterish, for sure. Wake and rake."

Harper had an RBI single in his only at-bat on Wednesday and is hitting .357 this spring (in 14 at-bats).

BELTRAN BETTER: Carlos Beltran won't play in a Grapefruit League until next week, but he does feel "a lot better" and has not been "shut down." He took batting practice and played catch on Wednesday.

The Mets are looking at Willie Harris and Scott Hairston in right field if Beltran can't go, and are also giving Lucas Duda extra work in right field to prepare him to play there if needed. (New York Daily News)

GARLAND GROUNDED: Dodgers starter Jon Garland is expected to start the season on the disabled list after leaving Wednesday's game with a  strained oblique muscle on his left side. He had an MRI on Wednesday and the team is expected to announce the results today.

The team has already lost starter Vicente Padilla for at least the first month of the season after surgery to repair a nerve below his right elbow.

The injuries mean the once-pitching rich Dodgers are down to four starters, although the team won't need a fifth starter until April 12. John Ely and Tim Redding would likely be candidates if Garland and Padilla are still sidelined. (Los Angeles Times)

GOOD ADVICE: Maybe the Dodgers could get that old guy to take the mound -- the one working with Ted Lilly on Wednesday. That guy was Sandy Koufax.

"He still loves to watch baseball, loves the art of pitching," Lilly told MLB.com. "You know he was great. But he's also smart, he's passionate about pitching, he understands and sees things. Sometimes they are little things.

"I enjoy learning about baseball and talking about it with someone like Sandy Koufax, and I enjoy talking about it with Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley and Jon Garland. There are always ways to move forward, even if they are small."

ZOOM GROUNDED: Tigers manager Jim Leyland is planning his bullpen to start the season without Joel Zumaya, who has been sidelined with pain in his surgically repaired right elbow this spring.

"I don't think right now, from within camp or by trade, that you can replace a healthy Joel Zumaya -- and I emphasize a healthy  Joel Zumaya," Leyland told MLB.com. "So you have to just keep looking and try to come up with somebody, mostly from within."

The Tigers did go out and spend a lot of money on a set-up man, Joaquin Benoit, so the path leading up to closer Jose Valverde isn't barren. Ryan Perry is expected to handle seventh-inning duties, which he was expected to shoulder with Zumaya.

SALAZAR IMPROVING: Several Braves players said they feared for the worst after minor league manager Luis Salazar was hit in the face by a foul ball on Wednesday. 

"A ball hit that hard, at that short a distance, can certainly kill somebody if it hits them in the right spot," Chipper Jones told David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I'm so glad to hear that he's conscious and breathing on his own."

Salazar was hit by a foul ball off the bat of Brian McCann and was airlifted to an Orlando hospital. MLB.com's Mark Bowman reports Salazar suffered multiple facial fractures, but did not suffer any brain damage. He was able to interact with family members later Wednesday night.

D-BACKS COACH BREAKS FOOT: While not nearly as serious as Salazar's injury, the timing does take away several light-hearted remarks I could make, but Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams may miss the beginning of the regular season with a broken foot.

Williams took a line drive off the foot while throwing soft toss to his son, Jake, on Monday. He's expected to miss two-to-three weeks. (Arizona Republic)

FIRST AT FIRST: Indians catcher Carlos Santana played his first-ever professional game at first base on Wednesday.

Santana cleanly fielded all nine chances he got at first and also had a double in the Indians' 9-2 loss to the Padres.

The Indians are searching for ways to keep his bat in the lineup and keep the young catcher healthy. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

PILING ON: A New York  storage company is joining in on making jokes about the city's easiest target -- the Mets.

In an ad on the city's subways for Manhattan Mini Storage, it says, "Why leave a city that has six professional sports teams, and also the Mets?" (New York Times)

WHEN HIDEKI MET RICKY: New A's slugger Hideki Matsui has connected with team icon Rickey Henderson, whom Matsui admired growing up in Japan -- and the feeling is mutual. (MLB.com)

HIGH PRAISE: Yankees closer Mariano Rivera says 19-year-old left-hander Manny Banuelos is the best pitching prospect he's ever seen.

"I like everything about him," Rivera told ESPNNewYork.com. "The makeup and how he keeps his composure. I notice situations and how you react in situations. Where you make your pitches in tough situations, where you spot your pitchers, he has the ability to do that."

WHITE RETIRES: Former West Virginia and Miami Dolphins quarterback Pat White has retired from baseball.

After White was released by the Dolphins last September, White signed a minor-league contract with the Royals and played in the Fall Instructional League. On Wednesday, the team said White did not report to spring training.

The Dolphins drafted him in the second round of the 2009 draft. He was also drafted by the Angels, Reds and Yankees. (Associated Press)

RISING WATER: It's been raining here in Cincinnati, but check out just how much -- this photo from Reds assistant media relations director Jamie Ramsey gives you a big-picture view of just how high the water is on the banks of the Ohio River.

He adds another picture of flood gates set up around Great American Ball Park. (Better Off Red)


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Posted on: March 5, 2011 6:48 pm
 

3 Up, 3 Down for 3/5: McClellan fights for spot

By Matt Snyder

Ah, another day of relatively meaningless spring games. Of course, there are guys fighting for a job -- like our top entry here -- otherwise we need to keep the date in mind. Skills are being honed and the results often aren't important at all, just the work that was done.

3 UP

1. Kyle McClellan, Cardinals. If the Cardinals don't go outside the organization to fill the rotation spot vacated by Adam Wainwright -- and it looks like they won't -- the best option would seem to be McClellan. The 26-year-old right-hander worked three scoreless innings Saturday against the Astros, allowing only two hits and striking out three. Another outing or two like this, and the audition for the job will be closed.

2. Chipper Jones, Braves. The veteran connected for his first home run since August 6 of last season. More importantly, he reported to Saturday being the first day he didn't feel any pain in his surgically repaired knee. Needless to say, this day mattered to Chipper, when normally a March 5 at-bat couldn't be more meaningless.

3. Bryce Harper, Nationals. The teenager got his first RBI of the spring, and it came against his childhood favorite team to boot. He's taking small steps forward seemingly with each game. It doesn't mean he's going to make the team or even play in the bigs this year, but he's gaining confidence at the professional level, which is all that really matters at this point.

3 DOWN

1. CC Sabathia, Yankees. The big man was shelled by the Nationals. His line couldn't have looked more brutal: 2 2/3 innings pitched, six hits, five earned runs, two walks, one strikeout. Of course, it doesn't matter. It's spring training and he's still a horse. Reading anything into it would be folly. In fact, I noticed a tweet today that said something like, "if CC is the one reliable member of the Yankees' rotation, what does that tell you?" My answer: absolutely nothing. It couldn't mean less.

2. Daisuke Matsuzaka, Red Sox. He was just as bad as CC, coughing up six hits, seven runs (five earned), two walks and a wild pitch in three frames. You don't wanna draw too many conclusions based upon this, but he's always struggled with command -- or been way too much of a nibbler, depending upon your point of view. So, no worry yet, but he'll need to get things together within the next three weeks.

3. Johnny Damon, Rays. Apparently this was the AL East version, by total accident. Anyway, Damon went hitless, dropping his spring batting average to .182 and also dropped a fly ball in the outfield. Hardly a banner day but, again, hardly a worry at this point. If he does go on to have a disappointing campaign, it will be due to his age -- not a bad spring.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com