By Joe McDonald at 24 March, 2013, 3:37 am
One day after Stephen Strasburg was struck on the left thumb by a screaming Prince Fielder line drive, teammate Bryce Harper was unable to play in Saturday’s Grapefruit League game against the New York Mets after experiencing swelling in his own left thumb.
Talk about irony… or maybe superstar teammates really can feel each other’s pain.
In all seriousness, Harper’s problem actually stems from being jammed by a pitch during an at-bat in Friday’s game and the thumb ended up swelling overnight. He was rested for precautionary reasons — manager's decision, not his — on Saturday but should return to their lineup on Sunday.
Here’s manager Davey Johnson with more on the troublesome courtesy of MLB.com’s Joey Nowak:
"I took him out after two at-bats, though I couldn't believe that ball jammed him. It was a bullet to right," Johnson said. "But he's been getting a lot of reps, a lot of ABs. I was gonna bring him today because I like to watch him play. When I took him out yesterday, it was on my mind not to have him come here. I didn't re-adjust that after I took him out. The trainers didn't talk to me about it, and I forgot about it. But when I saw [his thumb] this morning, I said, 'You're not going.' I scratched him."
The last time I can recall a manager admitting he forgot something was that infamous incident where former White Sox skipper Terry Bevington got confused during a fair or foul argument and basically ended up arguing against himself.
Anyway, nothing to see here. Harper will be fine. Strasburg will be fine. We think Davey Johnson will be, too.