The Nationals have been plagued by injuries in 2014, and ESPN’s Keith Law reports that their luck isn’t getting any better. Multiple sources tell Law that Bryce Harper will undergo surgery tomorrow to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb and be sidelined until “at least early July.” Harper injured the thumb while sliding into third base against the Padres on Friday night.
Harper’s injury is just the latest on a long list of DL-related woes for the 2014 Nationals. Offseason acquisition Doug Fister opened the season on the disabled list, third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is on the shelf through late May with a broken thumb of his own, and Wilson Ramos is also on the disabled list after undergoing surgery to repair the hamate bone in his left wrist. Washington has also already seen Denard Span miss a chunk of games as well, as he spent just over a week on the seven-day DL with a concussion.
Harper’s injury is the same injury that sidelined Josh Hamilton earlier in the month and the same injury that led to offseason surgery for Dustin Pedroia, and as Law points out, all three players suffered the injury while sliding into a base. Harper’s injury likely means that offseason acquisition Nate McLouth, who signed a two-year, $10.75MM contract with the Nats, will see a significant increase in playing time.