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Harper, Span out with flu-like symptoms

Apr 16, 2013, 10:14 PM EDT

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Bryce Harper is sitting out his first game of the season tonight.

MIAMI — Davey Johnson has been looking for ways to get his bench players more at-bats, but this wasn’t what the Nationals manager had in mind.

With Bryce Harper and Denard Span each sidelined due to flu-like symptoms and Danny Espinosa still out with a bruised right hand, the Nationals are forced to start three backups in tonight’s game against the Marlins, leaving Johnson with only two healthy players on his bench: pinch-hitter Chad Tracy and catcher Jhonatan Solano.

The Nationals are hopeful neither Harper nor Span is seriously ill, though each outfielder has been unable to keep food down since late last night. Span arrived at Marlins Park in mid-afternoon but was quickly sent back to the team hotel to rest. Harper arrived late, around 4:45 p.m., but did not take the field with his teammates for batting practice.

There’s no telling at this point when either player will be ready to return to the lineup, but Johnson hopes they’ll be back for Wednesday’s series finale.

“I know it’s been going around D.C., the same thing,” Johnson said. “I hope it’s just a 24-hour flu. But with some guys, it hangs on for two or three days.”
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  1. Candide - Apr 16, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    I've always thought "flu-like symptoms" was a euphemism for "hung over."But Harper and Span???I may have to rethink that.

  2. Wendell - Apr 16, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    I dislike the term "flu-like symptoms". Why not just say the flu. Nobody is going to sue for a misdiagnosis.

  3. Joe Seamhead - Apr 16, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    Maybe Davey could activate Davey Johnson. I'd feel more comfortable with him then any of the bullpen guys.

  4. JaneB - Apr 16, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    Yikes! Maybe this is what I had all weekend. I hope not. Mend well and everyone else use lots of antibacterial goop.

  5. Steady Eddie - Apr 16, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    I love the end of Mark's article — "Consensus opinion was that either Craig Stammen or Ryan Mattheus would be the best choice, though Drew Storen was trying to make a case for himself. None of the options sounded particularly appealing to Johnson."It was just a conversation that didn't bear a lot of fruit," the manager said."

  6. Traveler8 - Apr 16, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    I get it. I just got a sore throat this afternoon. Ugh.

  7. NatsLady - Apr 16, 2013 at 11:10 PM

    My Twitter timeline is filled with players who have this and are out for tonight (not just Nats).

  8. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 16, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    If it is in fact the flu, I don't think antibacterial goop will help. We use too much of that stuff anyway.

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