Mar 20, 2012, 11:27 PM EDT
US Presswire photo
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 »
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 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: 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.
Follow us on Twitter
- Jordan gets chance to face Cardinals
- Report: Mets strill trying to trade veteran starter
- Nats trade veteran catcher to Red Sox
- Observations from Sunday's 11-7 win in Viera
- Rizzo not looking for outside help despite injuries
- Reliever Janssen needs MRI on shoulder
- Miami Marlins name Opening Day starter
- Nats and Marlins starters meet in tune-up
- Uggla hoping for starting job, not bench role with Nats
- AL East team scouting Phillies' Jonathan Papelbon