Bryce Harper rejoins the Nationals, pushing Ryan Zimmerman back to third base

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As expected, the Nationals have activated Bryce Harper from the disabled list for tonight’s game against the Rockies after the outfielder missed two months with a torn ligament in his left thumb that required surgery.

Harper finished up his minor-league rehab assignment by smacking three homers in a Double-A game and went 9-for-14 (.643) with four homers on the rehab stint overall.

Harper will resume starting every day in left field, where Ryan Zimmerman has been playing since returning from the disabled list himself in early June. Zimmerman has played well there defensively considering he was a career-long third baseman and spoke last week about actually preferring to remain in the outfield because of his chronic shoulder problems, but he hit just .198 in 25 games as a left fielder and the Nationals have said all along that he’ll move back to the infield once Harper is ready.

There could be some drama and tough decisions on the horizon if Zimmerman’s throwing issues or shoulder problems resurface, but for now the Nationals are at full strength with a 43-38 record and half the season remaining.

MRI reveals that Jay Bruce has a strained right hip

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a Mets player struggles mightily for an extended period, to the point where it seems pretty obvious that something is wrong with him. The team says that he’s merely “sore” or “banged up” or something and the team either plays short-handed for a while or deals with the diminished player taking his hacks. Then, when he is eventually placed on the disabled list, it’s revealed that he has more serious trouble than general soreness or being banged up.

You ask for miracles, Theo, I give you the New York Mets:

 

He had been put on the DL a couple of days ago, but now it’s clear what the problem is. It may also illuminate why Bruce is hitting just .212/.292/.321 with three homers and 17 RBI in 236 plate appearances this season.

The Mets have not announced a timetable for Bruce.