Bryce Harper at 1B? 'He's actually not bad'

Brian Tinsman
July 03, 2018 - 10:55 pm
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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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The Washington Nationals have a glut of options at first base, but there's no harm in developing versatility.

That's the logic behind Bryce Harper taking grounders at first base during warmups, and not a sign of things to come.

At least, probably.

"Just kind of him getting outside of his comfort zone and letting him do something different," Nats manager Dave Martinez said, via MLB.com's Jamal Collier. "He's actually not bad."

Not a ringing endorsement, but it speaks to the win-at-all-costs mantra that Harper brings to the team.

"Here's a guy that, love him to death, because he'll do whatever it takes for this team to win," Martinez said with a shrug. "That's part of who Bryce is."

Versatility is one thing, but that doesn't mean we'll see him at first base any time soon. The Nats have Mark Reynolds, signed after the season's start, and first/second baseman Daniel Murphy who returned from injury last month. Matt Adams is still working his way back from the disabled list, and top option Ryan Zimmerman is expected to return soon as well.

That's quite a logjam at first base, but there's also a crowd of talent in the outfield. In addition to Harper, newcomer Juan Soto, Michael A. Taylor and Adam Eaton are all competing for playing time.

With so much offensive talent available, Martinez has the option of rolling the dice defensively, if the situation calls for it. 

If all goes according to plan, and his teammates can get and stay healthy, Harper won't be needed anywhere near the infield.

 

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