Mar 20, 2012, 11:27 PM EDT
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The Nationals want Bryce Harper to work in center field at Class AAA Syracuse.
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Mike Rizzo doesn't know if Bryce Harper will be able to play center field for the majority of his big-league career. But the Nationals general manager wants to find out if the 19-year-old prospect can handle the position.
So the recently demoted Harper will spend the majority of his time at Class AAA Syracuse manning the middle of the Chiefs' outfield as the organization decides whether he can eventually do it at the major-league level.
"Let's make an evaluation, see how he does," Rizzo said before tonight's game against the Mets. "If he handles it and we think he's a long-term answer for us in center, he'll certainly be the long-term answer. If we feel he can handle the position at the major-league level now, but if we're looking for better down the road, then we'll keep that in mind, too."
In his first comments since Harper was demoted late Sunday afternoon, Rizzo had nothing but glowing reviews of baseball's premier prospect. Harper hit .286 (8-for-28) with two doubles in nine total GrapefruitRead more »
NL EAST STANDINGS
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SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
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