On a night in which Bryce Harper stuck out twice against San Francisco Giants pitching prospect Eric Surkamp, it was the second of the two that was noteworthy. Harper took what looked to be ball four on a full count pitch, and headed to first. As he did so he was rung up by the home plate umpire Max Guyll. Harper slammed his helmet into the ground and was immediately ejected and then proceeded to give Guyll a piece of his mind. Harrisburg manager Tony Beasley was also ejected. Harper gets pretty intense following the ejection.
This is a Must Watch video coming from our friend Jason Bristol of WHPTV in Harrisburg. Last night Bryce Harper came up in the ninth with a runner on in a scoreless game between his Harrisburg Senators and the Reading Phillies, and blasted a double down the right field line. The ball was misplayed by the right fielder who then overthrew home plate. Harper never stops and dives into home headfirst without a helmet on to score the eventual game winning run. It’s an awesome sequence. Also seen first in the video is the walkoff pickoff that sent Reading to a win over Harrisburg in the completion of a suspended game, a dancing old guy, as well as an awesome catch by Chris Rahl in game two, but the Harper play at the end of the video is the highlight by far.
Here’s a second angle. Fast forward to 1:40 mark in the video.
Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg is likely days away from beginning a minor league rehab assignment according to MASNSports.com. The 23 year old Strasburg is coming off Tommy John surgery. He is likely to begin his rehab with the Low-A Hagerstown Suns before progressing to High-A Potomac and moving up from there. The former first overall pick back in 2009 created a frenzy, selling out stadiums across the northeast, as he moved through the minors in 2010, going 7-2 with a 1.30ERA in 11 combined starts for the Double-A Harrisburg Senators and Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs. Strasburg made his major league debut on June 9th against the Pittsburgh Pirates and struck out 14 batters. He went 5-3 with a 2.91ERA in 12 big league starts before he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow on August 21st, 2010 against the Philadelphia Phillies and had Tommy John surgery on September 3rd. If Strasburg’s rehab assignment runs smoothly it is likely he will be back in the Nationals rotation sometime in early September, a little over a year after the injury occurred.
Washington Nationals prospect Bryce Harper has hit his first Home Run in Double-A. The seventh inning blast came off of Bowie Baysox pitcher Michael Ballard. Harper went 3-4 for the Harrisburg Senators on the afternoon raising his Double-A batting average to .250. He has a combined 15 Home Runs between Low-A Hagerstown and Double-A Harrisburg.
The Cincinnati Reds have traded Jonny Gomes to the Washington Nationals for Bill Rhinehart and Chris Manno. The 26 year old Rhinehart is in the middle of his 4th season at Double-A Harrisburg. He is currently having a career year hitting .289 with 17 Doubles, 21 Home Runs, and 59 RBI’s. The outfielder was a 2011 Eastern League All Star. He was an 11th round pick of the Nationals in the 2007 draft. Manno was a 26th round pick out of Duke in 2010. Since turning pro, the 6’3″ lefty has been a force out of the bullpen. This year at Low-A Hagerstown, Manno posted a 1-3 record with 12 saves in 34 appearances out of the pen. He’s struck out 69 batters and opponents are hitting a ridiculously low .135 against him. The 22 year old was a 2011 Sally League All Star.
This is sure to be a story that will get a ton of publicity over the next few days. Sports Illustrated has posted on their website, Tom Verducci’s latest story on Bryce Harper that will hit news stands in the August 1st issue of the magazine. If you remember it was Verducci that introduced Harper to the world with the cover story back in 2009 with his Baseball’s Chosen One cover story. Among the standout items of the new article is quotes by Washington Nationals director of player development Doug Harris, and minor league coordinator Tony Tarasco comparing Harper’s scrutiny to that faced by Jackie Robinson. The in depth story focuses on Harper’s rise through the Nationals’ minor league system, the backlash he’s seen from opposing players and fans, the infamous kiss blowing incident, buying his #34 from a Harrisburg Senators teammate, and day to day life as baseball’s biggest prospect. It’s a very good read.
Found this story about some of the baseball lifers who have been fans & employees of their hometown Harrisburg Senators for the last couple of decades. If you’ve been going to watch your hometown minor league baseball team for any length of time, I’m sure you can relate to those profiled in the story. I know I sure can.
The Washington Nationals have promoted Brad Peacock to Triple-A Syracuse. The 23 year old is in the middle of a breakout year. He went 10-2 with a 2.01ERA and had 129 strikeouts while allowing just 23 walks in 98.2 innings for Double-A Harrisburg. Eastern League hitters hit just .179 against the 6’1″ right hander.