Bryce Harper is on the move in the Nationals’ batting order again.
Harper debuted as a No. 7 hitter, moved to the No. 3 spot after four games, shifted to the No. 2 spot for the past two games following Ryan Zimmerman’s return, and is now batting No. 5 tonight.
That makes four different lineup spots in 11 games for the 19-year-old. And because I’ve done this for each of the previous spots: Harper will be just the sixth 19-year-old to hit No. 5 in a big-league game since 1980, joining Ken Griffey Jr., Andruw Jones, Justin Upton, Juan Gonzalez, and Adrian Beltre.
At this point I’m actually hoping that manager Davey Johnson will keep moving Harper around the batting order until he’s started at least one game in each spot, just so decades from now when someone is looking up the same stuff I’ve been looking up about 19-year-old lineup placement he’s on every single list.
Good news in Boston: An MRI on Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi‘s left knee revealed no structural damage.
Benintendi slipped while trying to avoid a tag at second base, injuring his leg, but it appears he’s avoided a serious injury. A timetable for his return isn’t known at this point, but the Red Sox expect to get him back before the end of the season.
Benintendi is hitting .324/.365/.485 with a homer and ten RBI in 21 games.
And then there was one. One player from the 2008 World Series champs, that is. Ryan Howard likely isn’t going anywhere so he’ll be the last one to turn the lights off, but today Carlo Ruiz bid adieu to the Phillies following his trade to Los Angeles.
Lost in all of the emotions the Dodgers are reported to be feeling about A.J. Ellis leaving is the fact that Ruiz was one of the most beloved Phillies players ever, by both his teammates and their fans. Yesterday Roy Halladay penned a heartfelt goodbye to Ruiz, suggesting that he was every bit as essential to his and the Phillies’ success as Ellis has been to Clayton Kershaw (and in pure baseball production, obviously, quite more).
Today Chooch left a message for his now former teammates: