Dec 6, 2011, 1:16 AM EST
DALLAS — Davey Johnson has never been afraid to throw a supremely talented prospect to the wolves and let him play against big-league competition while still in his teens. Johnson, you may remember, was a driving force behind Dwight Gooden's promotion to the Mets at age 19 despite the fact he had never pitched above Class A.
"I had to fight for a young pitcher, who was 19 years old in New York," Johnson said today, recalling his conversations with Mets GM Frank Cashen in 1984. "Just keep an open mind, and let's see what he does in the spring and then evaluate whether he makes the club or not. And after many conversations, I finally got him to agree to that. And the rest is history."
So it's not surprising Johnson is perfectly willing to let Bryce Harper compete for a spot on the Nationals' Opening Day roster this spring. The outfielder only turned 19 in October and has only 37 games of experience at Class AA, but he thrived against top competition in theRead more »
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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- Significant moment No. 4: Ryan Zimmerman tears his hamstring
- Significant moment No. 5: The kids step up
- Nationals sign Uggla to minor-league deal
- Significant moment No. 6: Nats win 10 in a row
- Jimmy Rollins: Phillies have missed Werth since he signed with Nats
- Significant moment No. 7: Williams benches Harper
- Significant moment No. 8: Span breaks hit record
- Nats sign veteran infielder Stewart to minor deal
- Ex-Nats pitcher Haren really doesn't want to pitch for the Marlins
- Significant moment No. 9: Soriano out, Storen in