From Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com comes word that Bryce Harper has been scratched from the Nationals’ starting lineup Tuesday against the Dodgers due to soreness in his left knee. He’s had surgery on that knee in the past, but there’s no word yet on the severity of this particular issue.
Clint Robinson is starting in right field and batting cleanup versus Dodgers righty Zack Greinke.
Harper, 22, has hit .333/.460/.650 with 29 home runs and 69 RBI in 105 games this season. It would be a shame — and a massive blow for the second-place Nationals — if the 22-year-old superstar is forced to miss an extended period of time.
Washington is currently 1 1/2 games back of the Mets in the National League East standings and 4 1/2 games back of the Cubs for the second National League Wild Card spot.
UPDATE, 8:32 PM ET: Mostly good news from MASN’s Dan Kolko …
Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season.
The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner announced the news Saturday on his Instagram account in a 1½-minute video.
“In my simulated game a couple days ago, I felt something in my elbow, and after looking at my MRI and conversing with some of the best doctors in the world, we’ve determined that Tommy John surgery is my best option,” Verlander said.
He threw to hitters on Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in the team’s opener on July 24. He threw 50 pitches in the bullpen before throwing about 25 pitches to hitters in two simulated innings.
“I tried as hard as I could to come back and play this season,” Verlander said. “Unfortunately, my body just didn’t cooperate.”
Verlander has been on the injured list with a right forearm strain. He went 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA in 2019.
“Obviously, this is not good news,” Verlander said. “However, I’m going to handle this the only way I know how. I’m optimistic. I’m going to put my head down, work hard, attack this rehab and hopefully, come out the other side better for it.
“I truly believe everything that everything happens for a reason, and although 2020 has sucked, hopefully, when this rehab process is all said and done, this will allow me to charge through the end of my career and be healthy as long as I want and pitch as long as I want and accomplish some of the goals that I want in my career.”
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