Mar 5, 2012, 3:11 PM EDT
Associated Press photo
Bryce Harper tries to snag Brian Bixler's line drive during yesterday's game.
VIERA, Fla. — As much attention as we all give to Bryce Harper's offensive exploits this spring — hey, did we mention he went 1-for-2 yesterday and is now hitting .400 (2-for-5) in the Grapefruit League? — just as crucial to the 19-year-old's chances of making the Nationals' roster is his defensive progress.
Harper has now appeared in right field three straight days (against Georgetown, twice against the Astros) and he's scheduled to be back out there tonight when the Nationals travel to Port St. Lucie to face the Mets.
So far, he hasn't had very many opportunities to make plays in the field. Nor has he had the opportunity to show off his arm (or, in other cases, show that he knows when it's appropriate not to show off his arm).
Harper's most notable chance to date came late during yesterday's game, when Houston utilityman Brian Bixler (remember him?) struck a ball down the right-field line in the top of the eighth, with the AstrosRead more »
NL EAST STANDINGS
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 12:35 p.m.
Full season schedule
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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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