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, 11:35pm: 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.
The Angels signed Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani for a $2.3 million signing bonus last weekend. They may have damaged goods on their hands. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Ohtani underwent a physical that revealed a first-degree sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. As a result, he got a platelet-rich plasma injection on October 20. This was made known to teams after Ohtani entered MLB’s posting system, so it wasn’t like the Angels went into this blind.
Ohtani’s report said, “Although partial damage of UCL in deep layer of his right UCL exists, he is able to continue full baseball participation with sufficient elbow care program.” It also said Ohtani “will most likely be available to start his throwing program approximately a month from the PRP.”
Passan notes that the report also mentioned that a “small free body” floats in Ohtani’s elbow near his UCL.
Ohtani isn’t without other injuries. He battled hamstring and ankle issues throughout 2017 and underwent right ankle surgery back in October. Thankfully for the Angels, this diagnosis is about as good as it could be considering the circumstances. However, if Ohtani does exacerbate his UCL issue, he may ultimately need Tommy John surgery at some point, which would take him out of action for at least a year.