Bryce Harper rejoined the Nationals about a week ago after missing more than a month with a left knee injury. He slammed into the outfield wall in mid-May and tried to play through, but eventually he went on the DL and was nursed back to health.
The 20-year-old Harper has one hit (a home run) in his five games back, and the team was planning to give him the weekend off just to rest that knee and not overdo it so soon. Apparently Harper wasn't having any of that:
Harper text to Davey last night: "Play me or trade me." Davey: "Since trading him is out of the question, guess he's playing."— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) July 6, 2013
Well, OK then. Obviously Harper wasn't seriously giving the team an ultimatum -- he would text the GM in that case, not the manager -- but he made it clear he wanted to play.
Harper plays very hard and it's great that he wants to be in the lineup to help the team even when he's banged up, but the Nationals probably have to step in and take control in a situation like this. The kid will run through a wall if he has to -- he's tried it twice this year -- and someone needs to see the bigger picture and make sure he stays healthy.