UPDATE: Per Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Harper’s agent, Scott Boras, said that his client received 11 stitches but did not suffer a concussion. He also jammed his shoulder and will sent for an X-ray. It’s not clear when he’ll play next, but it sounds like relatively good news under the circumstances. We should know more during the day on Tuesday.
12:10 AM: Bryce Harper left tonight’s game against the Dodgers in the bottom of the fifth inning after he crashed face-first into the right field wall at Dodger Stadium.
Harper suffered the injury when he was chasing after a ball off the bat of A.J. Ellis. He appeared to lose track of where he was before he ran into the fence at full-speed. The particular area he crashed into is not padded, so it made for a pretty scary impact.
Harper was on the ground for a couple of moments before he got to his feet and walked off the field under his own power, but he appeared dazed and had a cut on his chin and/or neck. The Nationals will undoubtedly send him for tests for a possible concussion.
You can watch video of the play below:
José Bautista hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2018 but the 39-year-old isn’t done playing just yet. Last month, we learned via a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan that Bautista is hoping to come back as a two-way player. He spent the winter working out as a pitcher.
Bautista had also been working with former Blue Jays teammate Marcus Stroman. Back in January, Stroman tweeted, “My bro @JoeyBats19 is nasty on the mound. We been working working. All jokes aside, this man can pitch in a big league bullpen. I’ll put my word on it!”
In March, Passan added some details about Bautista, writing, “I’ve seen video of Jose Bautista throwing a bullpen session. Couldn’t tell the velocity, but one source said he can run his fastball up to 94. His slider had legitimate tilt — threw a short one and a bigger bender. @STR0 said in January he could pitch in a big league bullpen.” Stroman retweeted it, adding, “Facts!”
Stroman reiterated his feelings on Tuesday. He tweeted, “Since y’all thought I wasn’t being serious when I said it the first time…my bro @JoeyBats19could EASILY pitch in a big league bullpen. Easily. Sinker, slider, and changeup are MLB ready!” Stroman attached a video of Bautista throwing a slider, in which one can hear Stroman calling the pitch “nasty.”
Stroman attached another video of Bautista throwing a glove-side sinker:
Replying to a fan, Stroman said Bautista’s body “is in better shape than 90-95% of the league.”
I am not a scout and won’t pretend to be one after watching two low-resolution videos. And Stroman’s hype is likely partially one friend attempting to uplift another. That being said, I’ve seen much worse from position players attempting to pitch. It’s a long shot, especially given his age, that Bautista will ever pitch in the majors, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get an opportunity to pitch in front of major league scouts.