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Harper looks ready after third rehab game

Jun 28, 2013, 2:30 AM EST

After three minor league rehab appearances – most recently on Thursday night in Bowie with the Harrisburg Senators – Bryce Harper has shown pretty much all he can show as he continues to recover from left knee bursitis. 

Over his three rehab games, Harper has homered, drawn walks, and done just about everything he can on the base paths. He’s gone from first to third, first to home, he’s slid into base head first, he’s even slid leading with the left knee. 
Baserunning was said to be the key to Harper getting the clearance to return to the Nationals. If that was the most important test, he seems to have passed.
In Thursday’s outing Harper went 2-for-4 with a two-RBI triple, a walk and a single. He looked every bit the player he usually is at full health, after playing two games in Potomac that tested his knee in a variety of ways.
Harper left the game after playing six innings, he was originally planned to play nine. But Thursday's game was a long one, taking nearly two hours just to get through the first three innings. 
Senators' manager Matt LeCroy said the length of game was the reason he was pulled.

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115 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. JD - Jun 28, 2013 at 2:42 AM

    Bring him on up.

  2. Doc - Jun 28, 2013 at 2:58 AM

    What's he going to do in New York, if he isn't gonna play—ride the tourist busses????

  3. David Proctor - Jun 28, 2013 at 3:08 AM

    The idea is he would play…

  4. SonnyG10 - Jun 28, 2013 at 4:55 AM

    Yeah, quit wasting that offense in the minor leagues. Bring him up now!

  5. Scott Margenau - Jun 28, 2013 at 8:41 AM

    Could have won tonight with Bryce….

  6. Laddie Blah Blah - Jun 28, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    "Could have won tonight with Bryce…."Just the kind of game where he could have been the difference. Arizona's defense was terrific, though. Rendon's liner in the 1st, TyMo's shot to the CF wall, Span's liner down the 1st base line, a couple of swinging bunts down the 3rd base line – all hits (and at least a couple of runs) taken away by Arizona's D.

  7. Don - Jun 28, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    I said this the other day, I just don't see why the kid is continuing to rehab right now. His problem would be that he'd not be able to recover well from pounding the knee by running around. He's pounding the baseball in the minors while his club is losing 1 run games in MLB. And the knee seems to be fine. Waiting until Monday is just not smart. This club needs every AB they can get from Harper.

  8. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 28, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    if they think he is ready, I would love to see him win games for us right now.tough loss yesterday. we did not lose to corbin at least.

  9. baseballswami - Jun 28, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    He might be ready to play, but once he comes back, once he starts to make an impact, then everyone will be instantly addicted to his baseball crack. They will want him out there every single minute of every single game. There will be no rest or games off. Let's let him take that last deep breath, make absolutely sure his knee feels fine and he feels ready. We all want it to stick this time.

  10. A DC Wonk - Jun 28, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    Don said… I said this the other day, I just don't see why the kid is continuing to rehab right now. I think the answer is simple. The question is not whether his knee feels fine after nine innings – the question is how does his knee feel (i.e., is there any swelling) the day after playing nine innings. And, further, is there any swelling after he plays nine innings two days in a row.So there was no way in h3ll that they were going to make a decision after yesterday's game.

  11. Eric - Jun 28, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    "Let's let him take that last deep breath, make absolutely sure his knee feels fine and he feels ready. We all want it to stick this time."Well said.

  12. baseballswami - Jun 28, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    I really wanted to see him come back to a team where he is a valued part of the whole and not a team that is desperate to make him a season saver. Things are better and maybe having Rendon be the newest young star will take some pressure off. I really like the way Bryce has found a Zen thing during this DL time. I feel that he has learned some life lessons and some baseball lessons. Over everything baseball related, I continue to be impressed by Bryce as a person. I am beyond excited to see Bryce and Anthony playing together- they both have energy and focus beyond their years. It does not seem that Rendon is three years older, though! This is going to be a fun second half if we just go day to day and watch the guys play. What did everyone think about Jayson last night? Too bad everyone is constantly focusing on his private area during games…..

  13. Drew - Jun 28, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    This weekend Taylor Jordan will become the fifth member of the Nats' illustrious 2009 draft class to reach the majors, joining Strasburg, Storen, Kobernus and Karns.If Danny Rosenbaum gets a September call-up, that would set a Nats record of six big leaguers from one draft.The Nats still seem high (choose your meaning) on Michael Taylor, the 22-year-old outfielder who has 28 steals at Potomac. He's another member of the Class of 2009.

  14. Scooter - Jun 28, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    I love me some Michael Taylor.

  15. bowdenball - Jun 28, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    You guys realize he STILL hasn't played a full game, right? Sure, he got 5 ABs last night and was out there for the length of a normal game. But MLB games sometimes run long just like minor league games. For example- last night's game went 11 innings. Would you have pulled Harper after 9 and wasted a bench player? What if tonight's game goes long too? It's great that he's hitting High A and AA pitching and getting in 4-5 ABs a game, but that's not the same as facing Matt Harvey and staying in the lineup for 4+ hours or 12+ innings if that's what the game dictates.

  16. MicheleS - Jun 28, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    I want him to come back. But only if he is ready. I am on my way to New York hopefully we beat Harvey tonight and Taylor kicks some butts tomorrow

  17. Whack-a-Mule - Jun 28, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    Mule, a permanent resident of section 127, was visiting a friend in section 209 for last night's game against the D-Backs. Had a perfect view of the exploding/igniting light tower; very much resembled a scene from "The Natural".(Blessedly, no injuries to fans or personnel.)The game itself was a true gem. Brilliant pitching from both starters and both bullpens,although the lead-off double surrendered by Stammen provided a razor-thin margin of victory when followed by superb "small-ball" (including the most perfectly conceived and executed squeeze bunt that Mule has seen in decades).Both teams turned in superlative defensive performances. Any of at least six "web-gem" catches (outfield and infield) prevented scores.To quote from the movie "It Happens Every Spring" (Ray Milland; 1949): "What a game, ladies and gentlemen! What a game!"But Mule is still sad that we lost.

  18. JD - Jun 28, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    Swami, I get what you are saying but there is a flip side to that argument. The team has a responsibility to it's fans to field the best possible team especially since they are in a fairly deep hole in the standings. The only relevant question should be: 'is he healthy?' if his knee is swollen and he is sore then by all means give him a day off and play him again at AA on Saturday and Sunday but if he's well enough to play a full game at AA then he should head on to NY to face Matt Harvey.

  19. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    The Nats do not need to make desperation moves, such as bringing Bryce back if his knee is swollen or if field conditions are sloppy tonight in New York. There is a 40% chance of storms later today up there. Let him rest a day (today) and come back tomorrow to support the new kid.

  20. Don - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    It's likely some nonsense that Harper needs to ramp up to full game action in the minors. If he played 7 innings and he was fine the next day, then he's likely going to be fine the next day after playing 9. In any event he could be playing 7 or 9 innings in the bigs and resting the next day if need be. Harper's playing baseball, they made the decision to let him play whether it is in A ball or where it counts is all that matters. They are waiting until Monday becasue that is the plan they laid out last week, the Nats love to stick to their plans, no matter what chanegs to course might be obviously needed. The kid is hitting triples, running all over, sliding head first and no one is saying he has any complaints. He needs to be with the big club.

  21. JD - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    The big question of the 2nd half will be: do we get reasonable performances from the 4 and 5 spots in the rotation? clearly the big 3 are all performing well now and we should reasonably expect to win at least 2 of every 3 games they pitch but we have to at least split the games Det and no. 5 pitch to have any chance at all.

  22. JD - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    NatsLady, Short of taking unreasonable risks the Nats do need start introducing some urgency to their plans. If you want to avoid the word desperation then fine but it's gonna start getting late eventually. I know of all the cases where teams have come from a bunch of games behind in September but I also know of the 99% of the times when teams didn't.

  23. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    The problem is not Bryce alone it's also that Werth is not at his best. If you have to take both of them out late in the game that leaves only two professional outfielders (Span and Bernadina).

  24. JD - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    NatsLady, That's a real problem. That's why I have been advocating that we look for some veterans who can come of the bench but won't cost much (Marlon Byrd?)

  25. Nattering Nat - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    Hey Mule, we lead parallel lives. I reside in Section 128, and I visit a friend in Section 210.

  26. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    JD, I think your first point (the 4-5 starters) is where Rizzo & co. need to introduce "urgency" into the situation. Maybe we can afford to give Detwiler and his 8.59 ERA (since coming off the DL) ONE more bad start–against Harvey–but that's about it. If he's bad again, I would question his health, and I don't mean a "phantom" DL-stint. He just doesn't look the same as before he got hurt.Even if Taylor Jordan is another Matt Harvey he can only give us three or four starts before he runs into the innings limit. Even if Haren comes back and pitches like he did in May, we NEED another starting pitcher.

  27. bowdenball - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    JD said…"I get what you are saying but there is a flip side to that argument. The team has a responsibility to it's fans to field the best possible team especially since they are in a fairly deep hole in the standings."No, the team has a responsibility to do what it thinks is best for the team in both the short term and the long term. Part of that is not rushing players back from injury, especially wear and tear injuries, and ESPECIALLY wear and tear injuries to 20 year olds.Bryce Harper is not Barry Bonds- not yet anyway. Having him in the lineup would maybe be worth an extra run over the course of the weekend, IF he was 100% healthy and at peak performance level. Which he would not be, since the best pitcher he's faced since May 26 is Jared Eickhoff of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.Fans always way overvalue the difference a single player can make. Anthony Rendon has been up for almost a month at 2B, replaced two awful hitters, and has been raking. When he came up the Nats were 1 game under .500. Now they're .500. Barring disaster, Harper will be in the lineup in a couple days and the next time the Nats play in front of the home fans. That's good enough for me.

  28. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    On the other hand, we have a surplus of relievers. Garcia is near and Mattheus is probably less than a month away. We don't have a lot of trade chips, but there are teams out there with TERRIBLE bullpens.

  29. bowdenball - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    I don't understand the argument that we need to make a move now. Nobody's out there waiting to hand us something for nothing. If you think you're getting a quality starter for a reliever, you're out of your mind. I'd LOVE to hear one trade proposal for a quality starter that doesn't involve a significant Nats asset.It's not a fantasy baseball league. Nobody's dumb enough to hand over Matt Garza for Drew Storen or something. If you want a starter who is better than what we already have, you're saying you're ready to cut ties with Brian Goodwin and AJ Cole and probably someone else too. And personally I'm not ready to watch the Nats fall right back to #30 in the farm system rankings just to increase the chances of salvaging this season a couple percentage points.

  30. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    I wouldn't mind seeing him in NY on Saturday or Sunday–IF his knee is not swollen and IF field conditions are reasonable. I assume we would send Marrero back, which means we would not be any worse off in terms of outfielders with Bryce than without him, even if he only plays 4-5 innings. I'm really OK with whatever decision the team makes on this. While I agree on the overvaluing players, that only goes so far. When Ramos comes back that would really help Suzuki, even if, at first, Ramos doesn't play much better than Solano. And you really, really want Harper on the 25-man more than you want Marrero. RIght, folks?And if Rendon hadn't gone 0-5 yesterday we would probably be 2 games over .500. He's a difference-maker.

  31. Don - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    One player makes all the difference. Rocks minus Tulo? Fish with no Stanton? The Nats are a much better club with Harper than without. I want to see him facing Harvey tonight. In the bigs, with perfect fields and the A team trainging staff. No reason for him to stand around on a Friday and not play tonight if his leg is not swollen right now. China town bus and a hop on the 7 train has Bryce in Queens in no time.

  32. bowdenball - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    And if a frog had wings he wouldn't bump his rear end a-hopping. Rendon did go 0-5. And the team has only picked up once game since he arrived. Those are the facts. Yes, Rendon is a difference maker. That's my point. Even a difference maker only makes a difference over the very long haul. Two or three extra games from Harper is very unlikely to have an impact on the standings. So I'd rather they take their time with him and get it right.It's funny how the mood here changes from game to game. Yesterday morning everything was sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. One extra inning loss and everyone is ready to risk the future to give us the tiniest of tiny advantages in the present.

  33. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    I wouldn't go for Matt Garza or Gallardo. I'd go for this guy. It would be expensive, but I'd give them Detwiler for him and if necessary throw in Storen. He's signed until 2017. Supposedly everyone on that team except Sale and Konerko is up for grabs. John Dankshttp://www.baseball-reference.com/players/gl.cgi?id=danksjo01&t=p&year=2013

  34. ruggeds1000 - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    at least activate him to pinch hit

  35. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    NL — Nobody's bringing Harper back so he can play 4-5 innings w/ Bernadina subbed in for "defense" with the team three runs behind. You either expect Harper to go nine, or 11 or 13 — whatever it takes — or you leave him doing wind sprints in AA until he's ready.

  36. bowdenball - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    You want to trade Ross Detwiler for someone he outpitched for all of 2012 and has outpitched thus far in 2013 and who is under contract for the next three years for $16 million a year? Setting aside the fact that Detwiler is younger, cheaper and better than Danks, you also want to reduce the available money for the Nats to extend Desmond or Zimmermann? Maybe if the White Sox are willing to trade him for free and eat part of the deal. He's certainly not worth an asset. He's not even worth what they're paying him, not even close.

  37. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    Theo, I disagree. You bring Harper back for offense. Either the Nats get an early lead with him in the game or they don't. He doesn't have to play 9 innings in the outfield. IF he's healthy enough to run the bases and contribute 4-5 innings he's better than Marrero. Period.

  38. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    bowdenball, maybe it's just that I'm not a Detwiler fan. Danks had the surgery and he's got a live arm. I understand about the future, but I'm not ready to let this season tank, and if we have No. 4 and No. 5 starters that put the team in seven-run holes, it will.

  39. A DC Wonk - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    bowdenball — you're on a roll. I completely agree with your multiple posts this morning.The Kid is only 20. We want him healthy and productive for *many* years to come.

  40. Bryan Young - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    Davey sure looked ready to call him up in last night's post-game presser when he asked the beat writers for Retort on Bryce's night. I wouldn't be shocked to see him at citi field tonight or tomorrow.

  41. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    Just think of Danks as Haren. All Rizzo needs to do is NOT go the free-agent route again in the winter and the $$ just about equals out.

  42. A DC Wonk - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    … are the same folks that were lambasting the Nats for bringing guys back too soon, and bringing Harper back too soon, now criticizing the Nats for not bringing Harper back soon enough?

  43. A DC Wonk - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    Tidbits of the day:- Manny Machado was ejected arguing balls and strikes by a rookie umpire—Will Little—just called up from triple-A; it was the first time Machado’s been ejected in his career.- The Braves have struck out the most of any National League team- The Pirates have the best record in baseball- Not to pick a sore subject, but: how does Heath Bell get 14 saves with a 4.85 ERA?- Brewers have hit 30 triples thus far this season. Mariners have hit four.- Astros by month: April 8-19; May 10-18; June 12-12

  44. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    Wonk, don't forget–the Fish have already guaranteed themselves a winning month of June. April 8- 19 .296May 6- 22 .214June 13- 9 .591

  45. bowdenball - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    NatsLady said…"Just think of Danks as Haren. All Rizzo needs to do is NOT go the free-agent route again in the winter and the $$ just about equals out."Huh? Danks is signed through 2016 for $16 million per. Haren was a one year deal. They're completely different situations. One hamstrings future moves like extensions to guys like Jordan Zimmermann, the other does not.Sorry, NatsLady, I usually love your posts and I agree with 90% of what you say, but Danks for Detwiler just doesn't work. Unless you think Danks 0.85 BB/9 for 2013 is sustainable from a guy whose career BB/9 is close to 3, he's just not very good. He's a quality back-end starter, but I'm not willing to give up our own quality back-end starter AND significantly reduce our chances of keeping Desmond or Zimmermann for a different decent back-end starter.

  46. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    Wonk, it's not a simple as that, I think you are being unfair. I'm as patient and as optimistic as anyone, but there comes a point at which you have to say, when do you put your best line-up on the field? There will be, I promise you, another injury–maybe it's Werth, who knows? You can't keep a healthy player (IF IF Bryce is healthy) in AA any longer than necessary. You need every win at this point. I'm not willing to sacrifice all of the future, but I'm willing to sacrifice SOME of it, in dollars and players. You can't keep throwing out trial runs and I-don't-know-what-the-h3ll-is-wrong-with-Detwiler. Those games add up.We've more or less solved the bullpen and the infield–for now. As I said yesterday, the only team over .500 we see before the All-Star Break is the Padres. Let's win a bunch of these games.

  47. bowdenball - Jun 28, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    Bryan Young said…"Davey sure looked ready to call him up in last night's post-game presser when he asked the beat writers for Retort on Bryce's night. I wouldn't be shocked to see him at citi field tonight or tomorrow."If the club thinks he's ready to go, great. I trust their judgment when it comes to rehabbing injuries to their young stars. I would think anyone who has watched Jordan Zimmermann pitch this season would feel the same.

  48. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    bowdenball, I think you misunderstood what I said. Of course Haren is one-year deal. Rizzo needs to change his approach and not go for another FA pitcher at the going rate. If Taylor Jordan/Karns/Rosenthal or whoever can be the No. 5 and Danks the No. 4 it's approximately the same as this year.Jordan Zimmermann is NOT signing an extension. Doesn't matter how much you offer, you could offer him Kershaw money, he ain't signing. Desi will sign.

  49. bowdenball - Jun 28, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    If you're saying you want Danks, I understand. I sort of disagree, but I understand. Danks can probably be had for a song given his deal and the fact that the Sox are probably heading for a rebuild.I don't understand trading Detwiler for him, though. As I said, I think Detwiler is just as good or better than Danks, and he's cheaper and younger. That seems like just as much of an overraction as the Nats fans who were calling Ross the second-best starter in the rotation in April. Let's see what happens over his next 4-5 starts before we decide he has so little value that we'll trade him for a guy we could have simply by agreeing to pay his salary.

  50. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    Anyway, it doesn't have to be Danks, but it has to be some one. I would spend money and players, I wouldn't give up good prospects, especially not position players because (a) we don't have a lot of good ones in the system and (b) we don't seem to be as good at finding/developing them as we are with pitchers.

  51. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    Bowdenball, as I said, I'm just tired of waiting for Detwiler to grow up. Maybe he is grown up, but he's injured. I don't know. To me, he doesn't seem very smart, he doesn't make the kind of in-game adjustments JZ makes. Of course, Suzuki should be helping, I grant that but in the end, it's up to the pitcher to control his repertoire. Detwiler has his two fastballs, and they're either working or they're not. When they're not working he either doesn't have anything else, or he doesn't have conficence in anything else.

  52. baseballswami - Jun 28, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    The Nats, well, Davey, have had a serious problem with" urgency" that IMHO, has led to more DL time than was necessary. I think Rizzo needs to set a plan down in stone and turn a deaf ear to Davey and the fans in order to avoid more rash moves. When there is not a set plan, things get desperate, not just urgent, and we end up two steps backward. Bryce is rehabbing in the minors where what he does is just not all that critical. Once he comes back he will dial it up and run through a wall for his team. I would prefer that he finish up where he doesn't feel the need to push before he comes back. The Nats have been very un-wise so far with injuries. And it looks like they are repeating it with Werth.

  53. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    *confidence. Gonna take a break for a while. My bottom line is I trust team management to see what we are seeing about the need for offense in this period of the schedule and I trust them to make a good decision based on Bryce's health–long-term and short-term. I am more worried about the pitching.

  54. Eric - Jun 28, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    "Jordan Zimmermann is NOT signing an extension. Doesn't matter how much you offer, you could offer him Kershaw money, he ain't signing. Desi will sign."Wait, are you saying you don't think we'll be able to hold on to JZimm? That would be very disappointing…

  55. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    Eric, Zimmermann barely avoided arbitration because he wanted to go toe-to-toe with Rizzo–just for the fun of it. I have this idea that he is the rare character to whom the difference between $150 MM and $180 MM means little, and I don't see us offering him $2100 MM (failing a MASN deal). He will take his chances and become a free agent. He's got that gambler's/competitive streak in him.

  56. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 28, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    Yeah, I would cry if we didnt re-sign JZ… I think Det will get it together…

  57. JD - Jun 28, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    Bowdenball, I totally understand that any player has limited potential to make a major difference in W/L in the short term but I think that even 1 game may make a difference. I also feel that your Rendon example of what he has changed in W/L misses the point a bit because I think without him we may have been a couple of games under .500 for this stretch, there have been other changes in circumstances which effected the record such as the drop in performance by the bottom of the rotation.

  58. Eric - Jun 28, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    >$2100 MMWell, if he wants that much, maybe I won't cry so much if he leaves ;).No, but seriously, I would hate it if he left. I can see where you're coming from, and tend to agree, but I really hope he proves us wrong. When is his contract up?

  59. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    JD, I'm with you. I get the feeling 88 games could win the division and 87 could lose it. 87 is not getting you a Wild Card.

  60. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    Eric, yeah, that was a funny typo. I keep seeing my laundry…yet I can't let go… it's haunting me. JZ would be a free agent in 2016.

  61. bowdenball - Jun 28, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    JD-That was my point- that so many things can affect a win or a loss in the short term that it is unlikely that one player will change the team's fortures over a three game series. Maybe a starting pitcher for one of those games could swing a full game. But for a position player- especially one who hasn't seen big league pitching in over a month- the most you're talking about is maybe an extra run or two over the three days. It's possible that run would have come at the perfect time and would change an L to a W, but it's unlikely. If Bryce and the team both think he's ready to go, great, we might as well get that extra run or two and hope it swings a game. But if there's any cost at all, I'd rather they not do it, since the benefit is pretty small.

  62. Eric - Jun 28, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    >I keep seeing my laundry…yet I can't let go… it's haunting me.I don't quite follow that…your laundry?So, we have him for sure through the entire 2015 season? If so, I'm not too stressed about it yet. If we can nail something down now to keep him beyond that, that's great, but I actually wouldn't mind seeing another season out of him (2014) before the Nats aggressively pursue an extension.

  63. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    So if you sign him to an extension you would have to buy out two years of arbitration (2014 and 2015) plus add on what–five years? Seven years? Nine years, even seven years, is a lot of years for a pitcher.And unless he gets those years, he is going the FA route because he will only be 29 in 2016.

  64. JD - Jun 28, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    Mrs B. I agree that Det will be fine. He won't be Stras or Gio or JZim because he never was but I think he'l get it together enough for a no. 4. At least I hope so.

  65. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    Yeah, the problem with waiting another year is that if JZ is healthy for 2014 he has basically NO incentive to sign an extension. He waits out 2015 and goes for it.

  66. JD - Jun 28, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    NatsLady, I think JZim will sign. It's one think to gamble but keep in mind that he already had 1 TJ surgery so he has to understand the inherent risk of pitching. I don't know the details but I think that the contract Matt Cain signed could be a reasonable model.

  67. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    Matt Cain: Signed thru 2017, 8 yrs/$139.75M (10-17) & 18 team optionThe team would take that in a MINUTE maybe 30 seconds, assuming you mean 8 years @ $150 MM. I'm still not sure JZ would, though.

  68. JD - Jun 28, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    NL, If he doesn't then he is really a river boat gambler because you are always one pitch away from disaster and the other thing to consider is that his peripheral stats (W/L and ERA) are better than his advanced stats which means that now may be the best time for him to get his 'lifetime' deal.

  69. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 28, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    Yeah is a solid 4 pitcher… He started off the season lightening well… The injury didnt help but the league adjusted to him as well, these last few starts…He has got to work on his 'other' pitches… Cant keep going out there and throwing 90% fastballs…

  70. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    Bottom line, IMO, you would have to offer $160MM for eight years ($20MM per year). That would have to be your starting offer and I'm not sure he would take it, given that if he can keep himself healthy for two years he is looking at $200MM+. Yes, he knows the risks, and yes, he could need a second TJ in five years… All true. But I think he's more willing to take the gamble than Rizzo is.

  71. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 28, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    Uhm… yeah Det*Gosh, this is what happens when I try to do 6 things at 1 time knowing I can only do 5!:)

  72. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    JD, that's the other problem. RIzzo would be buying high–especially if JZ wins or comes close to a Cy Young.

  73. Eric - Jun 28, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    Yeah, Det needs to bring in better off speed pitches. Hard for me to say how likely that is, but I have to think it's reasonably possible.Interesting analysis of JZimm. I think JD's on to something with the inherent risk thing. I guess I would be surprised if he passed up a lucrative deal that lasted until he was 34 years old, let alone 36.

  74. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    And by the same reasoning, Rizzo is one pitch away from a $160 MM disaster. I just don't see it. We have other pitchers in the pipeline, and that's our strength, finding and developing these guys.

  75. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    Although… I guess… Rizzo could get insurance… probably doesn't come cheap for a guy who's already had TJ…

  76. JD - Jun 28, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    NL, If you take the position that you must keep the young core for this window (5 – 7 years) and I consider the core to be: The big 3 starters, Harper,Rendon and RZim then you need to get JZim signed soon.

  77. Eric - Jun 28, 2013 at 3:05 PM

    >We have other pitchers in the pipeline, and that's our strength, finding and developing these guys.That's true (well, near as my n00btastic self can tell ;). And, at any rate, we have him for 2 more seasons, and those 2 seasons seem at least as likely to be successful as 2013 was predicted to be.

  78. JD - Jun 28, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    NL, None of the other pitchers is a sure thing. Jordan is the only one who is dominant at AA and he wasn't even near the top of the list coming into this year. Are we sure he is the real deal? Solis came back from TJ pitched for a couple of weeks and went back on the DL. Purke hasn't been healthy for any extended period of time and Giolito is coming of TJ and is like 5 years away. You gotta lock up the big 3.

  79. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    JD, on that we agree. I would feel happier if JZ had signed an extension last year, and I'm sure Rizzo tried for one. The signal to me is that JZ didn't sign last fall, when surely Rizzo would have bought out three arbitration years plus maybe three FA years for a guarantee until JZ was 32 and could still get another solid paycheck. I absolutely think Rizzo wants JZ–but it takes two signatures.

  80. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    JD, everything you say, JZimm knows, too. IF he is willing to risk it , he is in the driver's seat.

  81. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    JD–I would put Desi in the core, also. I think he's proved himself over the last two years.

  82. Eric - Jun 28, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    NL, they definitely talked last winter, and JZimm and his agent basically said they weren't doing anything at least until after the 2013 season or going into the 2014 season.

  83. Eric - Jun 28, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    "I would put Desi in the core"No question, imo.

  84. Eric - Jun 28, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    That WaPo article on JZimm contract negotiations does make it sound like JZimm does want to land here…but…not at the expense of a deal JZimm perceives as fair.

  85. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 28, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    NL — Back to Harper (because I've been away from my desk for a while), if you (Johnson) commit yourself to subbing him for Harper you get caught in a similar situation to that in which Johnson found himself the other night. Paraphrasing: "If I had substituted Bernadina for Moore earlier, I wouldn't have had anyone to sub for Werth" (or something like that. Their bench is already thin — only two other LH/SW hitters — so why create a new "regular" position of T-Ball League-Everybody Must Play leftfielder? What if they were in an 11-9 game in the seventh inning with runs tacked up in every at bat? W/ all respect, it makes no sense, even for a couple of days. Make sure Harper's healthy and ready for full time duty, then bring him up. (For what it's worth, if he plays another game for Harrisburg, I think it ought to be time.)

  86. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 28, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    "subbing Bernadina for Harper"

  87. A DC Wonk - Jun 28, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    NatsLady said… Wonk, it's not a simple as that, I think you are being unfair. I'm as patient and as optimistic as anyone, but there comes a point at which you have to say, when do you put your best line-up on the field? And I Think the answer is: when it doesn't jeopardize your best player's health in the future too much.What if he played for the Nats last night. And even got the game winning hit. And then had swelling this morning and was out for another few days, or a week? What if this bursitis thing, because of short term gain, ends up being chronic for years?Wasn't playing RGIII in the first half of that last game putting "the best team on the field"? Was that a good decision in retrospect? *Even though* that game was the potential season ender, and today's game is one of 162?

  88. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    Theo, I hear what you are saying, and that's fine. But it's not like you are any better prepared today that you were yesterday. If Davey wanted another outfielder (other than Harper) he should ship out Marrero for Brown or Perez.

  89. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 28, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    The Nats already have two nine-figure near disasters — what's wrong with courting another one? Sooner or later, even if by luck, they're going to realize value on some long-term signing. And once Zimmermann is signed they're going to have to consider at least two other expensive long-term risks. (My fear is that Strasburg — at his current rate — is going achieve less than Greinke and then demand to be paid like Greinke as a FA.)

  90. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    Wonk, no one is saying Harper should have played last night. The only question is should he play this weekend or wait until Monday, and even that is hypothetical. If there is any swelling, yes, absolutely wait until Monday. And fine, don't play him today–swelling or no–when you have Det vs. Harvey. But if he is healthy let him play Sat and Sunday and don't say well, two games aren't going to matter–because they easily could! Absolutely Harper may not make the difference between winning and losing those two games–but the sooner he gets back HEALTHY, the sooner he does start making a difference.

  91. Bob Saget Nats Fan 101 - Jun 28, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    Good morning everyone. I went to yesterdays game. I got club tickets via stubhub. It was a fun game and great experience.One piece of advice to anyone who has or is going to get club tickets, DO NOT buy the Chocolate Bacon at the Anacostia Station cosession stand. My dad bought it for me. They put spices and peppers on the bacon with the Chocolate Bacon. It was so intense, it lingered in our mouths for 20 minutes after trying one bite. We had to buy ice cream to get rid of the burning sensation from the spicy Chocolate Bacon. There was no warning it was spicy at all. Who would expect Chocolate Bacon to be spicy?I think everyone is putting a lot of pressure on Harper. Yes, he will help is offense but is he the sole reason why we are not hitting as well as we should be?

  92. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 28, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    NL — a reinjured Harper is worse than a useless Marerro.

  93. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    LOL. I can't even imagine Chocolate Bacon existing, let alone consuming it.

  94. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    Theo, no one disputes that. But which day is the day that you guarantee Harper won't get reinjured?

  95. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    I don't think it should be Harper's decision, and I don't think it should be Davey's either. Rizzo and the medical staff should make the decision.

  96. JD - Jun 28, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    NL, Eury Perez is on the DL. You can bring Brown up but he's hitting .229 and striking out at a 30% clip.

  97. A DC Wonk - Jun 28, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    MrsB loves the Nats said… Uhm… yeah Det* Gosh, this is what happens when I try to do 6 things at 1 time knowing I can only do 5!Show off. Us poor men can only do one thing at a time.

  98. Bob Saget Nats Fan 101 - Jun 28, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    Nats lady: My dad and I are bacon men. We had to try it, lol. We are going to complain to the nats when we a chance.If the medical staff says Harper is ready (based on his answers to their questions), lets hope they are right and done risk re-injuring him

  99. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    Didn't realize Perez was on the DL. What's he on it for? I see his last game was the 23rd.

  100. JD - Jun 28, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    NL, I don't know.

  101. Eric - Jun 28, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    >Who would expect Chocolate Bacon to be spicy?/thread

  102. baseballswami - Jun 28, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    I think JZim wants to put up a seriously major year before he will talk about a contract. And even then, it will have to be ace money. If not, I think although he does like to pitch here, he would not be sentimental and he would be willing to walk — and I think he would be a staff ace and cash in. I just think he wants this whole season to use in the talks. I would not play poker with him and I would love to be a fly on the wall when he and Rizzo have a stare down. I think Rizzo has met his match in the "who will blink first" contest. Just ask the hitters who have been facing him.

  103. Doc - Jun 28, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    RE: Det not mixing in offspeed in his pitching sequences.Davey talks about it, like it's something that Det can decide for himself.In most sports, the player doesn't get to decide. And if he repeatedly goes about it his own way, with poor results, he ends up playing on another team or not playing at all.Baseball is different. Although, Espi seems to be the Nats poster guy of what can happen to you when stubbornness is more important than performance.

  104. d'grviii 8 - Jun 28, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    "They put spices and peppers on the bacon with the Chocolate Bacon. It was so intense, it lingered in our mouths for 20 minutes after trying one bite. We had to buy ice cream to get rid of the burning sensation from the spicy Chocolate Bacon. There was no warning it was spicy at all. Who would expect Chocolate Bacon to be spicy?"The spice on the chocolate bacon is there for the same reason the salt is on the peanuts. Forces you to buy something else. With the peanuts, it's beer. With the bacon, it's ice cream. Marketing 101.

  105. Eric - Jun 28, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    >The spice on the chocolate bacon is there for the same reason the salt is on the peanuts. Forces you to buy something else. With the peanuts, it's beer. With the bacon, it's ice cream. Marketing 101.I mean, spicy bacon would probably just make me buy more spicy bacon, but your point is well taken ;).

  106. baseballswami - Jun 28, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    About Det and the fastballs. I heard JZ say he was getting behind with off speed and went all fastballs to be more efficient. I hear it being said that Det needs to mix it up — but if you watch, you do not see Det shaking Zuke off. If you see charts on baseball shows, you will see that almost every single pitcher uses mostly fastballs, they say that the guy needs to establish it and that the best pitch in baseball is a well located fastball. Is it the location then and not the particular pitch? Maybe he is not hitting his spots? I want to see the Det we saw in the WBC — more attitude than anything. When his fastball is well located, none of us whine about him throwing anything else.

  107. A DC Wonk - Jun 28, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    When his fastball is well located, none of us whine about him throwing anything else. Indeed. Before he went on DL, he had eight starts, and an ERA of 2.76., never more than 2 BB's in a start.

  108. sjm308 - Jun 28, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    BobSaget – another reason I stick with beer at the ballpark – pretty sure it will not be a surprise.My take on Harper is that he will have a say in when he is up as well. While he may want to play, I think/hope he has learned his lesson and is not going to rush this.Go Nats!! Continue to win 2 of 3!!

  109. Eric - Jun 28, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  110. Eric - Jun 28, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    "Indeed. Before he went on DL, he had eight starts, and an ERA of 2.76., never more than 2 BB's in a start."Weren't his last couple of outings before the DL a little rough? "I hear it being said that Det needs to mix it up — but if you watch, you do not see Det shaking Zuke off."That doesn't refute the notion that he should mix it up, and it makes me wonder why our catchers are asking for so many fastballs from him, but not our other starters. Also, while it's true that most pitchers throw mostly fastballs, I think for Det it's well over 90%. If so, that means most hitters can sit fastball and just adapt to location. Over time, I think that will stop being very effective.

  111. A DC Wonk - Jun 28, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    Eric said… "Indeed. Before he went on DL, he had eight starts, and an ERA of 2.76., never more than 2 BB's in a start." Weren't his last couple of outings before the DL a little rough? True — which might be indicative of a number of things:1. League adjusted to him; or2. Leading up to DL he wasn't pitching as welland3. _Despite_ those rough outings, he _still_ had a top-notch ERA.

  112. Eric - Jun 28, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    >3. _Despite_ those rough outings, he _still_ had a top-notch ERA.Right…but the trend has continued and now he's up near or over 4, I believe.It's true that it could point either to drop off in pitching quality *or* league adjustment. Can anyone scare up one of those pitch graphs that shows Det's locations in an early, dominant start and one for one of his more recent ineffective starts?

  113. Eric - Jun 28, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  114. Eric - Jun 28, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    OK, here are the charts for his outing against Miami on 4/17.His line: 7IP, 7H, 1ER, 0BB, 5SOAnd, here there are for his outing against the Phillies on 6/18.His line: 6IP, 7H, 4ER, 0BB, 4SOWhen you look at the location charts, they aren't really *that* different. Lots of stuff all over the zone, and lots of 4-seam and especially 2-seam (which I believe is a sinker?) fastballs.

  115. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jun 28, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    Did somebody mention Salt Peanuts?

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