Nationals manager Davey Johnson indicated last night that Bryce Harper could get a day or two off after he hit himself in the head with his own bat and required 10 stitches above his left eye, but Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post passes along word that the rookie outfielder is in tonight’s lineup.
While Harper has a nasty welt and an embarrassing story to tell, he didn’t feel dazed after the incident and was cleared by a team doctor. This probably isn’t the last time his emotions will get the best of him. As a 19-year-old in the big leagues, failure and frustration is expected. But hopefully he has learned his lesson. Nationals manager Davey Johnson is a pretty good tutor for the assignment.
Harper went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts last night and is hitting .233/.333/.373 with six doubles, three RBI, a stolen base and a .705 OPS over his first 51 plate appearances in the big leagues.
The Braves placed closer Arodys Vizcaino on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, per a team announcement on Sunday. The assignment is retroactive to June 21. While the right-hander will be eligible to return to the team within the week, it’s not clear yet how long his recovery will take.
Vizcaino, 27, has already been sidelined a week after experiencing discomfort in his right shoulder. While he was treated with a cortisone injection earlier this month, it doesn’t appear to have had the effect the Braves were hoping for. The injury derailed what has otherwise been a productive season for the right-hander: Through his first 30 appearances, he logged 15 saves with a 1.82 ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 10.0 SO/9 over 29 2/3 innings. Per MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, the club is prepared to give more closing duties to rookie left-hander A.J. Minter as Vizcaino takes some time to recover, though it seems conceivable that the up-and-coming Evan Phillips will earn a few looks in the spot as well.
In corresponding moves, infielder Phil Gosselin was designated for assignment and right-hander Phillips was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett. The 23-year-old righty is poised to make his major league debut after four years in the Braves’ system. He currently sports a 2.31 ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 12.9 SO/9 through 35 innings at the Triple-A level this season.