It would appear as though Nationals fans will get what they’ve been pining for after all, as Bryce Harper has been named an injury replacement for the 2012 All Star Game. Harper will appear in Tuesday’s game as a replacement for Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton.
Harper’s case for making the National League squad was always relatively strong. He’s batting .283/.355/.475 with 8 HR and 25 RBI through his first career 273 plate appearances. The phenom is also arguably one of the most exciting young players in the NL and all of baseball. Showcasing such a player is what the Midsummer Classic has always been about – or at least what it used to be about before the game “counted” for something.
While Harper’s case is strong, he hasn’t performed on the field like a surefire All Star. He’s been outhit by Atlanta’s Martin Prado and outslugged by Arizona’s Jason Kubel, both of whom are not participating in this week’s game. He has done enough, however, to justify being named by Tony LaRussa as an injury replacement.
Stanton, Miami’s best slugger and the only true All Star the team currently has, will not be participating in the game after suffering a knee injury that will keep him out of the game and will likely keep him on the shelf for the next 6-8 weeks. Stanton was also slated to appear in Monday’s Home Run Derby, in which he’ll be replaced by Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen. Miami will not have a representative at this year’s All Star Game after the injury, a surprising turn of events considering MLB’s policy to have to have each team represented by at least one player.