Bryce Harper has once again started his season on the right foot. The 2015 National League Most Valuable Player put the Nationals on the board on Opening Day Monday afternoon with a solo home run off of Marlins reliever David Phelps, cutting the deficit to 2-1.
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Monday marked Harper’s fifth Opening Day in the majors, and the home run marked the fourth time he went yard on Opening Day. According to Baseball Reference, Gary Carter is the only other player to homer on four Opening Days before turning 25 years old. Harper has five total Opening Day homers, as he took Ricky Nolasco deep twice back in 2013.
Harper, 24, performed well last season but it was a far cry from his 2015 performance. He finished last year’s campaign hitting .243/.373/.441 with 24 home runs, 86 RBI, 84 runs scored, and 21 stolen bases in 627 plate appearances.
LOS ANGELES — Giancarlo Stanton, Josh Donaldson, and Tommy Kahnle were activated by the New York Yankees ahead of their weekend series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
New York cleared three roster spots after a 1-0 loss at Seattle, optioning infielder-outfielders Oswaldo Cabrera and Franchy Cordero to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre along with left-hander Matt Krook.
Stanton, Donaldson and Kahnle all played in a rehab game for Double-A Somerset. Stanton was hitless in three at-bats in his first appearance since injuring his left hamstring on April 15.
Donaldson went 1 for 4 in his fourth rehab game as he comes back from a strained right hamstring originally sustained on April 5.
Kahnle pitched one inning, giving up one run and one hit and walking two. He has been out since spring training with right biceps tendinitis.
Aaron Boone said he wasn’t concerned about Stanton returning after playing in just one rehab game. He did say that Stanton likely will be a designated hitter for a couple of weeks after rejoining the Yankees.
New York is missing centerfielder Harrison Bader, who strained his right hamstring against the Mariners and went on the injured list the next day.
Left-hander Carlos Rodón, sidelined since spring training by a sore left forearm and an ailing back, was transferred to the 60-day injured list.