JUPITER, Fla. -- Bryce Harper was scratched from the Nationals' lineup for Wednesday's 3-1 loss to the Marlins because of an ingrown toenail.Nationals manager Dave Martinez was not sure how long the injury would sideline Harper -- only that he was likely to miss a few days. Harper was not
JUPITER, Fla. -- Bryce Harper was scratched from the Nationals' lineup for Wednesday's 3-1 loss to the Marlins because of an ingrown toenail.
Nationals manager Dave Martinez was not sure how long the injury would sideline Harper -- only that he was likely to miss a few days. Harper was not originally scheduled to play in Thursday's game against the Braves in Orlando and Martinez said they would evaluate him again in the morning.
In May 2013, Harper required minor surgery after developing a particularly nasty ingrown toenail. In that instance, he returned to the lineup after missing two games.
"That's what I was told," Martinez said. "I don't know what they're going to do with it. ... He came in and said it's really sore, so I said no reason to play."
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Wilmer Difo replaced Harper in Wednesday's lineup as the designated hitter.
This was going to be the second game in a row for Harper, after collecting his first hit Tuesday, a double down the left-field line that eventually led him to score a run. He has played in two games this spring and is 1-for-5 at the plate.
Taylor shows off in center field
Michael A. Taylor showed off why he was a Gold Glove finalist in center field last season in the bottom of the third inning. Derek Dietrich walloped a pitch from right-hander Ryan Madson to the wall in center field that likely would have cleared the fence for a home run, and certainly would have gone for extra bases.
But Taylor chased it down and leapt at the wall for a highlight-reel catch.
"He's been working diligently out there," Martinez said. "I told him from Day 1, 'There's no reason why you shouldn't win the Gold Glove.' You're that good. He showed it today. That was awesome."
Roark faces Marlins in rematch
It was almost like deja vu for Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark in his second outing of the spring, facing the Marlins in Jupiter just four days after the same matchup. In order to line up their rotation, the Nationals slotted Roark to make this start Wednesday on short rest.
Roark lasted two innings and gave up a pair of unearned runs, after two rare errors at third base from Anthony Rendon, but he also struck out two on 43 pitches. Even though he was pitching on short rest, Roark said his arm still felt strong and he treated it like a normal outing. And the fact that he was facing the same team for the second consecutive outing did not have much of an effect on him, either.
"It is what it is," Roark said. "That's also a thing you can't think about, you've just got to execute your pitches."
Roark will return to a regular throwing schedule after this start. To combat the start on short rest, he did not throw a bullpen session in between outings, which he feels may have lead to some little inconsistencies in his mechanics at times in this outing.
The Nationals travel to Champion Stadium for the second time this week to face the Braves in Lake Buena Vista on Thursday at 1:05 p.m. ET. A.J. Cole, the leading candidate to be Washington's fifth starter, will make his Grapefruit League debut. The game will be broadcast live on Gameday Audio.
Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.