Nationals activate Bryce Harper from the disabled list

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As expected the Nationals have activated Bryce Harper from the disabled list after the 20-year-old outfielder missed the past 31 games with a knee injury stemming from his May 13 collision with the wall at Dodger Stadium.

Harper went 4-for-11 with a homer and three total extra-base hits during a brief minor-league rehab assignment, which concluded Saturday.

Before being shut down he hit .287 with 12 homers and a .973 OPS in 44 games, although Harper hit just .226 between the Dodger Stadium collision and being placed on the disabled list. He’ll resume starting in left field for the Nationals, with Jayson Werth in right field. Washington went 15-16 during Harper’s absence while giving his playing time to a combination of Tyler Moore, Stephen Lombardozzi, and most recently Roger Bernadina.

The Cubs will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday

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The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.

The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.

Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.

The matchups for Tuesday’s action:

Carter Capps to undergo surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome

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Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.

Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.

The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.