District Daily: Bryce Harper Homers in Rehab, Stephen Strasburg Quitting Chew


May 30, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper works out before the game against the Texas Rangers at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

It took extra innings to decide last night’s game, but more baseball didn’t mean the news stopped coming out of the Washington Nationals. Check it out in today’s District Daily.

Harper goes deep in second rehab game

(Daniel Popper, MLB.com)

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WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Bryce Harper didn’t see many pitches to hit Tuesday night at Pfitzner Stadium in his second rehab start for Class A Advanced Potomac since tearing his left thumb ligament in April.

But when Salem Red Sox right-hander Kyle Kraus delivered a hanging slider to Harper on a 3-1 count in his fourth and final at-bat of the contest in the fifth inning, the slugger turned his hips and drilled a line-drive three-run home run that sailed well into the trees over the right-center-field fence.

“That felt really good,” Harper said. “Got into a good hitting count and put some good wood on the ball and let it go a little bit.” Read full article here.

Taylor, Giolito named to Futures Game roster

(Bill Ladson, MLB.com)

MILWAUKEE — The Nationals will have two prospects — outfielder Michael Taylor and right-hander Lucas Giolito — playing for the U.S. team in the 2014 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game.

An excellent defensive outfielder, all Taylor needed to do was hit the baseball on a more consistent basis, something he hadn’t done until this year. Entering Tuesday’s action, Taylor was hitting .333 with 17 home runs and 52 RBIs for Double A Harrisburg.

“He is in the proper position to hit on a more consistent basis,” assistant general manager Doug Harris said. “He has made adjustments from at-bat to at-bat and pitch to pitch. In the past it would take a week or more to get [out of a slump].” Read full article here.

Strasburg plans to quit chewing tobacco

(Bill Ladson, MLB.com)

MILWAUKEE — While mourning the death of his college coach, Tony GwynnStephen Strasburg says he made a decision to quit chewing tobacco. His primary reason is his daughter.

“I think it’s a disgusting habit, looking back on it,” the Nationals right-hander said on Monday. “I was pretty naive when I started. Just doing it here and there, I didn’t think it was going to be such an addiction. … Bottom line is, I want to be around for my family. This is something that can affect people the rest of your life. [Chewing tobacco is] so prevalent in this game. It’s something we all kind of grew up doing.”

Gwynn, the Hall of Famer who coached at San Diego State, believed chewing tobacco was the reason he developed salivary gland cancer. He died on June 16. He was 54. Read full article here.