Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper continues to battle bursitis in his left knee and is unlikely to play in this weekend’s series against the Braves, per Mark Zuckerman. Zuckerman suggests that a stint on the disabled list is becoming a possibility. Harper hasn’t played since Sunday, when he went 1-for-3 in the series finale against the Phillies.
Harper is enjoying tremendous success in his sophomore season, as the defending NL Rookie of the Year is sitting on a .973 OPS with a team-best 12 home runs and 25 walks. In Harper’s absence, Roger Bernadina and Tyler Moore should see increased playing time.
Major League Baseball has announced the umpiring crew for the World Series. John Hirschbeck is the crew chief. It’s his fifth World Series assignment, third as a crew chief.
A surprising name on the crew is Joe West. It’ll be his sixth World Series overall, but first since 2012. There had been chatter for several years that Major League Baseball was making a more concerted effort to get its best umpires into the World Series more often while minimizing the appearances of its weakest umpires. Most assumed West’s absence from the Fall Classic in recent years, despite his seniority, was a function of that. Maybe they’re still making merit a priority and maybe West has just improved? I’ll leave that for you to judge.
Anyway, here is the lineup of umps for Game 1. They will rotate after that, of course. If the series goes six games, Cowboy Joe will be calling the balls and strikes:
Home plate: Larry Vanover
1B: Chris Guccione
2B: John Hirschbeck
3B: Marvin Hudson
LF: Tony Randazzo
RF: Joe West
Replay Official for Games 1-2: Sam Holbrook (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)
Replay Official for Games 3-7: Larry Vanover (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)