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.
There’s a saying that goes “nothing good ever happens after 2AM.” It can also be said that nothing good ever happens after, say, week 5 or 6 of spring training.
Today, for instance, are a lot of inconsequential games. Those are neutral. Then there are a rash of these sorts of incidents which just went down today, all of which are bad:
Archer seems to be OK for now. Moncada walked off his thing and went back into the game. We’re still waiting to hear on Bumgarner and Ichiro. If there is anything serious with them we’ll update as we learn things.
But really, guys: Spring Training is too long. Even in a year like this one, when it’s a tad shorter than usual because of an early start to the regular season. Everyone who was gonna get their timing down well enough to make a big league roster has already done so. If someone isn’t healthy and in playing shape now, they’re not gonna be six days from now for Opening Day. The cake, as they say, is baked.
All that can happen is possessed-by-the-devil baseballs attacking unsuspecting players and injuring them in meaningless exhibitions. Let’s cease all baseball now until the regular season starts. Out of an abundance of caution.