District Daily: Manager Has Bryce Harper’s Back, Aaron Barrett’s Balk


Jun 24, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams walks in the dugout before game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals won last night, but that’s not the big news this morning. Check all the latest Nats news below in this morning’s District Daily.

Williams has ‘Bryce’s back in every way’

(Daniel Popper, MLB.com)

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WASHINGTON — Before Bryce Harper stepped onto the field Monday night to play in his first Major League game since April 25, the 21-year-old slugger offered his opinion on the lineup that Nationals manager Matt Williams had assembled against the Rockies.

Williams had Ryan Zimmerman back at third base, despite his earlier comments that he’s more comfortable in left, and Harper in left. Anthony Rendon went back to second, and Danny Espinosa was on the bench.

“Rendon is a great third baseman and should be playing third, and we have one of the best [defensive] second basemen in Danny Espinosa,” Harper said Monday. “Of course, you want the best-hitting lineup in there. I think Rendon playing third and Zim playing left is something that would be good for this team.” Read full article here.

Nats deserving of ASG berths; voting ends Thursday

(Bill Ladson, MLB.com)

WASHINGTON — Not one member of the Nationals was listed in the final balloting update for the 85th All-Star Game, released on Tuesday. But two members of the Nationals — first baseman Adam LaRoche and infielder Anthony Rendon — should be considered for the National League All-Star team.

Entering Tuesday’s action, LaRoche led the team in hitting (.307) and on-base percentage (.415). Let’s not forget that he plays great defense at first base. There is no telling how many errors he prevented around the diamond.

LaRoche is not a rah-rah type of guy, but he leads by example. He is looking to play in his first All-Star Game. Read full article here.

Barrett called for unexpected balk

(Daniel Popper, MLB.com)

WASHINGTON — For more than three years, Nationals reliever Aaron Barrett has pitched using the exact same routine, which includes a unique hitch before he comes to the set.

Barrett developed the delivery in 2011 while playing for short-season Class A Auburn, and he said there was initial discussion among coaches that it could be a potential issue. But Barrett said he worked to guarantee the motion was continuous every time, and in three and a half seasons in the Minor and Major Leagues, he was only charged with one balk. Read full article here.