Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Nationals demote phenom Harper

VIERA — The Nationals optioned top prospect Bryce Harper to Class A Hagerstown on Saturday, saying the top overall pick in last year's draft needs to get more playing time to prepare for the season.

"He needs to go down to the minor leagues and get four or five at-bats per game to prepare himself for the season," general manager Mike Rizzo said. "And that was the reason we got him out."

Harper, 18, who hit .389 in 13 spring games, was disappointed but determined to make it back to the big leagues as soon as possible.

"Nobody likes to leave the big-league club," he said. "This is the life that you want to live every day, and it's just the process.

"I'm going to go down there and play hard like I always do and, you know, hopefully get back up here real soon."

MAUER IMPROVING: Twins catcher Joe Mauer, recovering from offseason surgery on his left knee, caught his first bullpen session of the spring and said he expects to be ready for opening day. "I don't think opening day was ever in doubt," Mauer told

A'S: Right-hander Rich Harden, who suffered a lat strain in his back early in camp, is unlikely to be ready by opening day, manager Bob Geren said.

BREWERS: Leftfielder Ryan Braun was pulled with a strained left intercostal muscle and is listed as day to day.

DODGERS: Third baseman Casey Blake left in the first inning with lower back spasms.

METS: Catcher Ronny Paulino arrived in camp after a three-week delay because of visa problems caused by his 50-game suspension for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

RANGERS: Third baseman Adrian Beltre, sidelined with a strained calf, is feeling better and could make his spring debut Monday.

RED SOX: First baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who had been out to rehab his surgically repaired right shoulder, had a single and a sacrifice fly in his first spring game.

REDS: Left-hander Dontrelle Willis left a split-squad game against the Cubs in the first after appearing to trip on a bat and limping back toward the mound.

Nationals demote phenom Harper 03/12/11 [Last modified: Saturday, March 12, 2011 8:03pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Alex Faedo, Florida advance to face LSU in College World Series finals


    OMAHA, Neb. — Alex Faedo pitched three-hit ball for 71/3 innings in a second straight strong performance against TCU, and Florida moved to the College World Series finals with a 3-0 win Saturday night.

    Florida’s Austin Langworthy scores on a single by Mike Rivera in the second inning during a 3-0 victory over TCU.
  2. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect


    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. Rays journal: Jumbo Diaz falters after getting within a strike of ending rally

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday's game got away starting with a leadoff walk in the seventh inning by Rays LHP Jose Alvarado, who was brought in exclusively to face Baltimore's lefty-swinging Seth Smith.

    Rays reliever Jumbo Diaz wipes his face as he walks off the mound after the Orioles score four during the seventh inning to give them a 7-3 lead. Diaz was one strike away from working out of the jam before he allowed a two-run double and a two-run homer on back-to-back pitches.
  4. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It was refreshing to see RHP Jacob Faria take the blame after the loss even though he gave the Rays a chance to win. Too often young pitchers are encouraged by what they did and not necessarily the outcome, but Faria, making just his fourth big-league start, came to the Trop to win, didn't, and pointed the finger …