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.
The Indians announced on Wednesday that second baseman Jason Kipnis has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring. Infielder Erik Gonzalez was called up from Triple-A Columbus.
Kipnis, 30, has been bothered by the hamstring for the last two months. He had to be pulled from Tuesday’s game with renewed tightness. The veteran is hitting .228/.285/.409 with 11 home runs and 30 RBI in 335 plate appearances on the season.
Gonzalez, 25, has a .263/.272/.400 triple-slash line in 82 PA in the majors this season. He provides versatility for the Indians as he’s played second base, third base, shortstop, and both corner outfield positions as a member of the Tribe.
The Red Sox placed outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. on the 10-day disabled list with a sprained thumb this afternoon.
Bradley’s left thumb got bent back awkwardly as he slid into home plate on Tuesday night in Cleveland. X-rays came back negative, but an MRI taken Wednesday morning in Boston revealed the sprain. It’s unclear at this point how long he might be sidelined.
Bradley is hitting .262/.343/.432 with 14 homers and 54 runs batted in on the season. Andrew Benintendi is likely to take over in center field for Bradley, with Chris Young and Brock Holt sharing time in left.