If you haven’t heard yet, Bryce Harper has been called up from Triple-A Syracuse to replace Ryan Zimmerman on the Nationals roster. Nationals GM Mike Rizzo, announced on Friday that the move, “isn’t the coming out party for Bryce that we had in mind.” In light of injuries to Zimmermann and Mike Morse, who hasn’t played all season, the Nationals are desperate for an offensive boast, despite sitting comfortably at the top of the NL East with a record of 14-4.
This move comes as a surprise because Harper wasn’t exactly dominating Triple-A pitching. He is hitting .250 with 1 homerun and 3 RBI, giving him a slash of .250/.333/.375. Whether it was the extremely unpredictable weather of Syracuse or just adjustments, Harper will now see time in left field. Oddly, Harper has not appeared in left-field this season as he’s been the primary centerfield in ‘Cuse.
Mike Rizzo is a hard general manager to understand. He’s crafted this Nationals club thanks to terrible production from the ML squad. Players like Zimmerman, Harper, Strasburg are all results of high draft picks. Even the acquisition of Gio Gonzalez came thanks to the trading of some top tier prospects. I understand moving a player like Tyler Moore up, who hit extremely well in Double-A Harrisburg. Moore is a former 16th round pick who has given a lot more production than you would have thought.
But throwing your top prospect, baseball’s wonderchild into the outfield isn’t exactly the smartest thing either. With your team having the best record in baseball, wouldn’t it make sense to call up a guy like Moore to have play, while have Harper get some more seasoning in Triple-A? Rizzo has stated that Harper is here to play, not sit on the bench. If you remember last season, Mike Trout was called up by the Angels and didn’t see consistant playing time, which hurt him drastically.
I’m all for baseball. I understand it’s a business and in order to strive, you need to win. Whether or not Harper produces, Saturday night in downtown L.A. will not be buzzing around Matt Kemp‘s terrific start. The spotlight will be on Harper. I hope he’s ready for it.