It’s the news you’ve been
whining waiting to see: Bryce Harper will be recalled from Syracuse and make his major-league debut tomorrow in Dodger Stadium.
The move will come in conjunction with Ryan Zimmerman’s placement on the 15-Day DL for an inflammation of the AC joint. The move will be retroactive to April 21.
“We thought that we needed to bring in an impactful[sic] left-handed bat,” Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo told reporters at a press conference this afternoon. Rizzo also noted that Harper will initially play left field, and admitted the move was out of need due to injuries to Zimmerman and Michael Morse.
“This wasn’t the coming out party for Bryce we had in mind,” Rizzo said.
With the retroactive placement on the DL, Ryan Zimmerman could be activated on May 6th, which could also mean that Harper will return to AAA. In the meantime, Rizzo said that Harper will likely be the everyday left fielder, the position he played yesterday in the first game of the doubleheader.
While previously Rizzo had remarked that once Harper was recalled he would stay, this afternoon he backpedaled from that assertion, citing OF Mike Trout, who was recalled from AA to the Los Angeles Angels for 40 games last summer.
“(There’s) a possibility that this might not be his breakout moment. This could be a step sideways to take a leap forward,” Rizzo said.
Perhaps coincidentally, Stephen Strasburg will be the starting pitcher tomorrow in Los Angeles. Perhaps not coincidentally, Harper’s 20+ days of AAA service ensures that the 19-year-old phenom will not become a free agent until after the 2018 season.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Quotes were taken from Nationals beat writers on Twitter as this was written in real time to meet a personal deadline of filing something before leaving to attend tonight’s Potomac Nationals game. I mention this in the spirit of professionalism and disclosure.