The Nationals placed right fielder Bryce Harper on the 10-day disabled list with a “significant bone bruise” in his left knee, the team announced Sunday. Harper sustained the injury in the first inning of Saturday’s series opener against the Giants after slipping on first base and hyperextending his left knee. Nationals’ general manager Mike Rizzo told reporters that he doesn’t believe the injury is season-ending, but doesn’t have a clear timetable in mind for Harper’s recovery just yet.
While Harper’s loss is a blow to the Nationals’ lineup, it’s certainly not the worst-case scenario for their star hitter. An MRI failed to reveal any tendon or ligament damage, and it doesn’t look like the injury will have an adverse effect on the outfielder’s 2018 campaign with the club. Fellow outfielder Michael Taylor (right oblique strain) was activated from the 10-day disabled list in a corresponding move and will assume Harper’s spot on the active roster for the time being. Assuming Harper doesn’t hit any snags in the rehab process, he could be looking at a return to the field sometime in mid- to late September.
Harper, 24, left Saturday’s game with a .326/.419/.614 batting line, 29 home runs and a 1.034 OPS through 472 PA in 2017. This is his first stint on the disabled list since 2014.
Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw has been out since July 24 with a lower back strain. He’s slated to throw a three-inning simulated game in Pittsburgh on Monday, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. Plunkett adds that if all goes well, the earliest Kershaw could return is August 31 against the Diamondbacks, but September 1 is more likely against the Padres.
Kershaw, 29, hit the disabled list on a pace to win his fourth Cy Young Award. He’s 15-2 with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141 1/3 innings.
The Dodgers have managed just fine without Kershaw. The club is 19-4 since July 24. At 87-35, the Dodgers own baseball’s best record, well ahead of the second-best Astros at 76-48.
Last week, Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler was ejected from a game against the Rangers after giving home plate umpire Angel Hernandez a look after a pitch was thrown outside for a ball. Kinsler was apparently unhappy with calls Hernandez had made earlier. Manager Brad Ausmus, too, was ejected.
After the game, Kinsler said that Hernandez “needs to find another job.” He added, “…he needs to stop ruining baseball games.”
Kinsler was fined by Major League Baseball for his remarks, Mlive’s Evan Woodbery reports. According to Ausmus, the fine levied on Kinsler was the largest one he’s seen in nearly 25 years in baseball. Kinsler said, “I said what I felt and what I thought. If they take offense to that, then that’s their problem.” Ausmus said, “To single out one player as a union is completely uncalled for.”
As Ashley noted on Saturday, the umpires wore white wristbands to protest “escalating attacks on umpires.” The umpires agreed to drop their protest on Sunday after commissioner Rob Manfred agreed to meet with the umpire union’s governing board, Gabe Lacques of USA TODAY Sports reports.