Bryce Harper pulled from AA game with hamstring strain; might be done for season

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According to beat writer Bill Ladson of MLB.com, Nationals outfield prospect Bryce Harper was pulled from a game Thursday at Double-A Harrisburg after injuring his hamstring while running the bases.

Harper had to be carried off the field by trainers, but early indications point to the injury being rather minor. He’ll be reevaluated Friday morning.

The 18-year-old phenom has posted an uninspiring .254/.324/.397 batting line with three home runs and seven doubles in 143 plate appearances since jumping to the Double-A level back in early July. He had a sparkling .318/.423/.554 slash line with 14 home runs and 17 doubles over 305 plate appearances at Single-A Hagerstown earlier this year.

Most prospect-ranking services list Harper as the most promising young talent in baseball.

UPDATE, 11:03pm: Harper has officially been diagnosed with a right hamstring strain.

UPDATE, 11:35pm: According to Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington, Harper will be shut down for the rest of the season if he doesn’t show improvement within the next few days. The minor league schedule only goes another two weeks, and the Nats aren’t going to let him back on the field at less than 100 percent.

UPDATE, 11:48pm: Deadspin found some video.

Jonny Venters is back in the majors

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The Rays announced on Wednesday that the club purchased the contract of lefty reliever Jonny Venters from Triple-A Durham. The 33-year-old hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 due to a continuous battle with arm injuries. The Rays note that he has undergone two and a half Tommy John surgeries, which is a number that seems to be in dispute.

Venters signed a minor league contract with the Rays in December. With Durham so far this season, he gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and five walks with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

Before the injuries, Venters was among the best relievers in 2010-11. In those two seasons, he posted a combined 1.89 ERA with 189 strikeouts and 82 walks in 171 innings.