Bryce Harper taken out of Friday night’s game with apparent wrist injury

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Not a good night to be a talented player. Chris Davis (link) and Devin Mesoraco (link) both exited games tonight with injuries of their own and now Bryce Harper has added his name to the list. James Wagner of the Washington Post reports that the Nationals’ outfielder injured his wrist diving head-first into third base, completing a bases-clearing triple in the third inning against the Padres.

Wagner writes that Harper grimaced and grabbed at his left wrist, but stayed in the game initially. He did not take his position for the top of the fifth inning, however, as he was replaced by Nate McLouth. The severity of the injury isn’t yet known, as the Nationals will evaluate him further.

Harper hasn’t yet gotten started with the bat, slashing .272/.337/.383 in 89 plate appearances entering Friday’s game. He had made headlines recently for a lack of hustle, but it appears that his all-out style of play has once again led to an injury. Harper suffered a knee injury in May last season crashing into the wall at Dodger Stadium, and it lingered throughout the season.

Zack Cozart thinks the way the Rays have been using Sergio Romo is bad for baseball

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The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.

In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.

The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.

Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”

It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.

It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.