Bryce Harper has no chance of actually making the Opening Day roster, but the 18-year-old No. 1 overall pick is in big-league camp and Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com reports that his spring training debut will come Monday as the Nationals open the exhibition schedule versus the Mets.
Harper, who was named the top prospect in the game by Baseball America earlier this week, will travel to the Mets’ ballpark in Port St. Lucie and is expected to come off the bench for at least one at-bat.
Zuckerman writes that Harper’s “spring training playing time is expected to be minimal” and “he’s unlikely to start any games” before presumably being among the Nationals’ first cuts about two weeks from now. Or as manager Jim Riggleman put it: “I’m hoping that he kind of blends in. I’m not looking for him to excel against major-league pitching.”
Yahoo Japan reported on Sunday (Monday there) that the Brewers have made a formal contract offer to free agent pitcher Yu Darvish. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has confirmed Yahoo Japan’s report. The length of the offered contract and the value are not known at the moment.
Darvish recently said on his personal Twitter account that the Rangers, Yankees, Cubs, Astros, Twins, and “one more team” have been in the running for his services. The unnamed team was believed to be the Dodgers, but it may well be the Brewers.
The Brewers could certainly use Darvish’s arm. Chase Anderson and Zach Davies currently lead the starting rotation and the club added Jhoulys Chacin and Yovani Gallardo this offseason.
Darvish, 31, posted a 3.86 ERA with a 209/58 K/BB ratio in 186 2/3 innings between the Rangers and Dodgers in the regular season last year. He faltered in the playoffs, specifically in the World Series, where he gave up nine runs in 3 1/3 innings across two starts. Darvish was apparently tipping his pitches, however, which is a correctable issue.