Start off your Friday with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web:
Rehabbing Harper puts on show in batting practice
WASHINGTON — Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper put on an awe-inspiring display early Thursday when he took live batting practice on the field for the first time since tearing a ligament in his left thumb in April.
The slugger sprayed 14 home runs to all fields during the session — which lasted around 20 minutes — including the fifth, sixth and seventh pitches he saw. Two long balls reached the upper deck in right field, and another sailed well over the center-field fence, which stands 402 feet from home plate.
Washington Nationals: Looking ahead to the trade deadline
Sitting at the top of the NL East, the Washington Nationals are certainly in no position to be sellers at this year’s trade deadline. However, a log jam in the outfield could lead to an everyday starter being moved if the team cannot find a suitable rotation.
When Bryce Harper returns from his thumb injury in July, it appears that Ryan Zimmerman will be forced back into the infield. Manager Matt Williams will have to decide if he is willing to sacrifice defense to keep his best hitters in the lineup by allowing Zimmerman to return to third base, or if he will rely on another solution. To open up a full time position in the outfield or at first base the Nationals would have to trade Denard Span or Adam LaRoche. Read full article here.
Ramos progressing, nearing rehab assignment
WASHINGTON — Nationals manager Matt Williams said catcher Wilson Ramos (right hamstring strain) is progressing through running drills without any problems and should be close to a rehab assignment.
Ramos left the Nationals’ 2-1 victory over the Giants on June 10 after sliding into second base for a double. He had already missed 32 games in the beginning of the season with a hamate fracture in his left hand. Read full article here.