Nationals place Bryce Harper on disabled list with knee injury

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UPDATE: It’s official. The Nationals placed Bryce Harper on the 15-day disabled list and called up Erik Davis from Triple-A.

11:25 PM: The Nationals resisted putting Bryce Harper on the disabled list after he crashed into the outfield wall at Dodger Stadium on May 13, but now they have little choice.

Harper missed his fifth straight game last night due to bursitis in his left knee and is “likely” to be placed on the disabled list, a source tells Amanda Comak of the Washington Times. The Nationals are expected to call up right-hander Erik Davis in a corresponding roster move.

Harper hasn’t played since he left last Sunday’s game. The 20-year-old outfielder was still hobbling after a workout Thursday and was expected to sit out this weekend’s series against the first-place Braves. Some extended rest sounds like the right idea, but the Nationals could have him back by June 11 if all goes well.

This is a tough time for the underachieving Nationals, as Stephen Strasburg left last night’s start with a strained right oblique and could also be looking at a trip to the disabled list. Davey Johnson’s club will enter play today at 28-27 on the year.

Didi Gregorius will wear a mask during games

Gregorius will wear a mask
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Didi Gregorius will wear a mask during games this year. That’s what the Phillies infielder tells the Philadelphia Inquirer:

“We are trying to go through the guidelines and trying to do everything we can do to stay safe, so, that’s why people see me walking around with a mask on and stuff. I am keeping myself safe, wearing a mask everywhere I go. So, I have to keep it on me all the time.”

Gregorius will wear a mask both while batting and out in the field, he said.

A big reason for it is that he has a chronic kidney condition which makes him “high risk” under Major League Baseball’s safety protocols. He could opt out if he wanted to but Gregorius, who signed a $14 million deal with the Phillies last winter, is a free agent again this coming offseason. He is coming off of a down year in 2019, having hit .238/.276/.441 with 16 home runs and 61 RBI across 344 plate appearances. Gregorius underwent Tommy John surgery in October 2018 and didn’t make his 2019 season debut until June 7. A big reason he took a one-year deal was to reestablish his value for next season’s go-around on the free agent market and he doesn’t want the long layoff going into what could be his last significant payday.

Major League Baseball is not requiring players or umpires to wear masks on the field during games or practices, though it is reportedly looking into clear face shields for home plate umpires to wear under their usual protective masks.

Gregorius will wear a mask to keep himself safe, he said, but he also notes in the article that “I think it adds safety for everybody, for me and people around me.” Here’s hoping, given his vulnerability, everyone around him is being as safe as he is.