WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Mike Rizzo sounded legitimately ecstatic that Nationals slugger Bryce Harper will be participating in the 2013 Home Run Derby, making him the first in the organization’s history to do so, and says there’s no concern of him flaring up the bursitis in his knee that kept him out of the lineup for a month.
“He’s doing great,” the Nats GM told 106.7 The Fan’s Holden and Danny on Wednesday. “Physically, he’s terrific. Each and every at-bat he gets a little bit more comfortable at the plate, and we expect him to be a force in the middle of our lineup with the rest of our guys.”
But the topic at hand is the derby, to which Rizzo expressed a certain giddiness at Harper being the first National ever named to the event.
“He’s a personality and a guy with big power,” Rizzo said. “It’s something that I think will be a cool thing for him to do, something that he can say that he’s done.”
There was another revelation, which Rizzo suggested will make the event a family affair for the 20-year-old.
“I think his dad is going to throw BP to him in the Derby, which is unbelievably cool I think,” Rizzo said. “His dad Ron has thrown him a lot of BP in his life, so I think those two will have a great connection.”
Rizzo denied that the team had any reservations about Harper’s participation initially, even after he just returned from a month-long injury hiatus. He reassured fans that if there was a concern, the Nats simply wouldn’t let him do it.