Hamstring injury keeps Bryce Harper from Double-A playoffs

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Bryce Harper hasn’t played since August 18 because of a hamstring injury and the Nationals announced today that he’s been ruled out for the Double-A playoffs.

Harper got off to a very slow start following his midseason promotion to Harrisburg, but was hitting .286 with an .879 OPS in 14 August games before the injury. And even his final line of .256 with a .724 OPS in 37 games is damn good for an 18-year-old, especially considering he earned the promotion by crushing low Single-A pitching.

Harper naturally shared his thoughts on missing the playoffs via Twitter:

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Yankees, Mariners expressing interest in J.A. Happ

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Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Yankees and Mariners are both expressing interest in Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ.

Happ is posting a 3.48 ERA and a 94/25 K/BB ratio in 82.2 innings across 14 starts and has been stingy with the hits as well. Between that, the Blue Jays’ lack of contention and the fact that Happ is in the walk year of his three-year, $36 million deal, all signs point to the Jays trading them.

In normal circumstances you might not expect the Jays to make a trade with the Yankees, but at this point it sort of doesn’t matter, does it? It’s not like Happ in New York on a couple month rental will impact the 2018 Jays too much. And, given his pending free agency, it’s not extraordinarily likely that he’d haunt the Jays from the Bronx long term either.

There’s not a ton of elite pitching currently available, but as the trade deadline approaches — a little over a month to go on that score — the talk about Happ, Cole Hamels, Francisco Liriano and others will heat up. Figure the Yankees will be linked with any and all available starters.