Nationals place Bryce Harper on disabled list with knee injury

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UPDATE: It’s official. The Nationals placed Bryce Harper on the 15-day disabled list and called up Erik Davis from Triple-A.

11:25 PM: The Nationals resisted putting Bryce Harper on the disabled list after he crashed into the outfield wall at Dodger Stadium on May 13, but now they have little choice.

Harper missed his fifth straight game last night due to bursitis in his left knee and is “likely” to be placed on the disabled list, a source tells Amanda Comak of the Washington Times. The Nationals are expected to call up right-hander Erik Davis in a corresponding roster move.

Harper hasn’t played since he left last Sunday’s game. The 20-year-old outfielder was still hobbling after a workout Thursday and was expected to sit out this weekend’s series against the first-place Braves. Some extended rest sounds like the right idea, but the Nationals could have him back by June 11 if all goes well.

This is a tough time for the underachieving Nationals, as Stephen Strasburg left last night’s start with a strained right oblique and could also be looking at a trip to the disabled list. Davey Johnson’s club will enter play today at 28-27 on the year.

Former Mets pitcher Anthony Young dies at 51

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Former Mets pitcher Anthony Young died on Tuesday at the age of 51, the team said. Young was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in February.

Young, 51, pitched parts of six seasons in the majors from 1991-96. He began his big league career with the Mets in 1991 and stayed with the team through ’93. He famously failed to win a game between April 24, 1992 and July 24, 1993. During that span of time, he went 0-27. It was a great example, even back then, of the uselessness of won-lost records. Young posted a respectable 4.17 ERA in ’92 and 3.77 in ’93.

Former pitcher Turk Wendell, who was Young’s teammate with the Cubs in 1994-95, called Young “a true gentleman.”

Blue Jays designate Jason Grilli for assignment

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The Blue Jays announced on Tuesday that the club designated reliever Jason Grilli for assignment as part of a handful of roster moves. Outfielder Dwight Smith was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo, outfielder Ezequiel Carrera was activated from the 10-day disabled list, and pitcher Chris Smith was recalled from Buffalo as well.

Grilli, 40, struggled to a 6.97 ERA with a 23/9 K/BB ratio in 20 2/3 innings of work this season in Toronto. The right-hander similarly struggled in the first half last year with the Braves before being acquired by the Jays but Grilli’s role had diminished and most of the rest of the bullpen has been pulling its weight.

Grilli should draw some interest — perhaps from the Nationals — as his peripheral stats suggest he’s not nearly as bad as his ERA suggests.