While the headlined declaration -- "Bryce Harper is probably not going back to the minors" -- will sound painfully obvious to some, it's someing else for GM Mike Rizzo to admit as much. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that Rizzo has done just that.
In the midst of a speech at the National Press Club in D.C., Rizzo had this to say on the subject of Harper and his standing on the 25-man roster: “We're not dumb, either. This guy is performing admirably in the big leagues. We feel he's got a chance to really impact the ball club. He's a special talent. So you have to throw ordinary development curves out the window if you have to. You have to be able to be light on your feet and utilize the assets that you have. If he is performing the way he's performing now, there's no way in hell I can get Davey Johnson to get rid of him.”
You'll recall that Johnson lobbied pointedly to have Harper on the roster coming out of spring training. Now that Harper has been called up and is since thumping to the tune of .375/.389/.625 (and making electric plays in the field), there'd probably be a palace coup if Rizzo attempted to option him back to Syracuse. As his comments demonstrate, Rizzo is acutely aware of that fact.
The Nats will indeed be faced with a roster decision with the forthcoming return of third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, but it's not going to Harper who clears out to make room for him. Likely, it'll be first baseman/outfielder Tyler Moore who ships back to Triple-A, but the real takeaway is that Harper is now a fixture in Washington.
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