Saturday, June 1, 2013
Harper to DL, Davis recalled
[Updated 3:45 p.m.]
ATLANTA — The Nationals have placed outfielder Bryce Harper, still unable to play with bursitis in his left knee, on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to May 27) and promoted right-hander Erik Davis from Class AAA Syracuse to provide a fresh arm to a bullpen overworked as a result of Stephen Strasburg's oblique strain.
Harper heads to the DL with bursitis in his knee, the condition that has plagued the 20-year-old slugger since he slammed into the wall at Dodger Stadium 19 days ago. He is eligible to return June 11.
Strasburg, meanwhile, is headed back to Washington today to be examined by team medical director Wiemi Douoguih after departing last night's game with a strained right oblique muscle that could land the ace on the DL himself.
Harper has twice tried to return from the collision but has been unable to stay on the field. He started two straight games in San Diego a couple of days after the incident in Los Angeles, only to have to miss the final two games of that series. He then returned to the lineup for six straight games against the Giants and Phillies, but was so hobbled by the end of that stretch that he had to be removed mid-game.
The Nationals held Harper out of all four games of this week's interleague series with the Orioles, despite initial hope he might be able to serve as DH in the two games at Camden Yards. An attempt to return to action for last night's series opener against the Braves was quashed when he was still noticeably limping after arriving in Atlanta.
"He's a tough guy, and he would play if at all possible," manager Davey Johnson said prior to last night's game. "But he's too good a talent to take a chance on further injury. So he's not going out there til it's better, that's for dang sure."
The Nationals intended to wait out the weekend before making a DL decision on Harper, possibly using Jayson Werth's expected Tuesday return from a hamstring injury to pull off a roster swap, but Strasburg's early exit from last night's game set off a domino effect that necessitated the immediate addition of another pitcher.
When Strasburg departed after only two innings with a right oblique strain that could land the right-hander on the DL himself, Craig Stammen was forced to pitch four innings in relief. Stammen won't be available tonight, nor will Tyler Clippard, who needed 32 pitches to navigate his way through a harrowing seventh inning during the Nationals' 3-2 victory.
Thus, the club is calling up Davis, who tweeted the news of his promotion from Syracuse late last night.
Davis, a 26-year-old right-hander, was 1-2 with a 3.00 ERA and seven saves in 21 appearances at Class AAA. Acquired from the Padres in 2011 for infielder Alberto Gonzalez, the hard-throwing reliever is a former Stanford teammate of Nationals reliever Drew Storen who seven years ago was struck in the face by a line drive while pitching in the Cape Cod League and required two surgeries to return to the mound.