It didn’t take Bryce Harper very long to shake the rust after missing the past five weeks with left knee bursitis, as he connected for a solo home run in his first at-bat tonight against the Brewers. Now that’s how you return in style.
The home run was an opposite-field blast off Yovani Gallardo which just eked over the left field fence and nearly ended up in Sean Halton’s glove. After Harper rounded the bases and returned to the dugout, he received a curtain call from the energized home crowd at Nationals Park.
Halfway through the season, the Nationals haven’t been nearly what most of us thought they would be, but a healthy Harper should go a long way to change that.
Below is the video of the home run:
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.