Bryce Harper had a big Triple-A debut, going 2-for-4 with a stolen base, but then the 19-year-old top prospect went into a prolonged slump that left him hitting around .200 with a .600 OPS.
That also included zero homers in 16 total games, but Harper finally went deep yesterday for the first time at Triple-A, smacking a solo shot off Mets prospect Jeurys Familia in his 61st at-bat of the season.
Harper finished last season hitting .256 with a .724 OPS in 37 games at Double-A and is now hitting .234 with a .675 OPS in 17 games at Triple-A, which shows how silly any calls were for the Nationals to rush him to the majors already.
He remains an elite prospect, perhaps the best in baseball, but 19 is still 19 and now that the Nationals are winning hopefully Harper’s timetable won’t be hurried by anything other than his performance.
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.
Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.
The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo is considering pushing Zack Greinke‘s next start to this weekend in order to line him up to start the National League Wild Card game on normal rest, Nick Piecoro reports. The D-Backs open up their final series of the season, a three-game set, on Friday against the Royals in Kansas City. Greinke is currently on track to start Wednesday against the Giants and the team has an off day on Thursday.
Robbie Ray has been the Diamondbacks’ best pitcher by several measures, including ERA (2.95) and K/9 (12.3), but Greinke has been quite good himself (3.18) and has nine postseason starts under his belt in his career. He’s acclimated to postseason pressure. The D-Backs also signed Greinke to a $206.5 million contract two years ago, which is likely a factor.
The D-Backs are still waiting to find out which opponent will fly to Arizona for the Wild Card game on October 4. Currently, the Rockies hold a two-game lead over the Brewers and lead the Cardinals by 2.5 games.