The Nationals and Giants braved a slippery field on Saturday night and came out worse for wear after Bryce Harper sustained a knee injury while trying to beat out a grounder in the first inning. Harper’s left foot slid on the first base bag, sending the right fielder sprawling and clutching his knee. He was unable to put weight on his left leg following the incident and had to be carried off the field by team trainers.
The Nationals have yet to announce a formal diagnosis, but it doesn’t look good for their star outfielder. Harper has been relatively healthy this season and missed just three days with mild groin soreness back in May. Should the knee injury necessitate a trip to the disabled list, it’ll be his first stint on the DL since undergoing thumb surgery in 2014.
Following the mishap, Brian Goodwin covered right field while Andrew Stevenson entered the game to take over in center field. The Nationals currently lead the Giants 2-1 in the bottom of the third inning.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.