Harper enrolls, but Nats still negotiating
Team has until Aug. 16 to strike deal with No. 1 Draft pick
LOS ANGELES -- Outfielder Bryce Harper, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, has enrolled in classes at the College of Southern Nevada and met the school's new coach, Chris Sheff, according to a baseball source. But that doesn't mean Harper will not sign with the Nationals.
So far, Harper and the Nationals are not close to a deal and have until Aug. 16 to get one done or Harper will go back to college. The source said he expects the negotiations to heat up by Tuesday.
General manger Mike Rizzo declined to talk about the negotiations.
"I'm not going to discuss our negotiations other than to say we are in negotiations with all of our unsigned Draft choices," Rizzo said.
Harper has the stats to warrant being taken with the No. 1 overall pick. In 2008, Harper had a .599 batting average with 11 home runs and 67 RBIs in 38 games for Las Vegas High School. He followed that up with a .626 batting average, 14 home runs and 55 RBIs the next season.
Playing against a high level of competition and hitting with a wooden bat has not presented much of a challenge to Harper. The 17-year-old hit .442 with 29 home runs and 89 RBIs during the 2010 regular season. And in the National Junior College World Series, Harper hit for the cycle while going 6-for-7. The next day, he went 2-for-5 in the first game of a doubleheader and 6-for-6 with four home runs in the nightcap.
Morgan to get second opinion on hip
LOS ANGLES -- In retrospect, Nationals center fielder Nyjer Morgan wished he had kept his mouth shut when he told the team trainer that his right hip was sore. The team ended up putting Morgan on the disabled list.
Morgan insisted that the hip is getting better and he could play right now. However, just to be safe, Morgan will travel to Memphis to get a second opinion.
"It's one of those things where I said something just to make sure everything is all right, but it's more a precautionary thing," Morgan said.
Mench returns to big leagues with Nationals
LOS ANGELES -- With outfielder Nyjer Morgan on the disabled list, the Nationals selected the contract of outfielder Kevin Mench from Triple-A Syracuse on Friday. Mench will come off the bench.
This will be Mench's first big league job since 2008, when he was with the Blue jays. Last year, Mench spent time in Japan before signing a Minor League deal with the Nationals last February. Mench is best remembered for his years with the Rangers. His best season in Texas was in 2004, when he hit .279 with 26 homers and 71 RBIs.
Mench said the last two days have been a whirlwind for him. He found about his promotion Thursday, while celebrating his wife's birthday. Mench didn't arrive in Los Angeles until around 5 p.m. ET.
Mench wondered if he would ever get to the big leagues. There was a point where he thought about leaving the Nationals, but friends and family told him not to quit. Mench was hitting .249 with three home runs and 40 RBIs in 87 games for the Chiefs.
"It feels good to be back in the big leagues," Mench said. "I don't think it has really hit me yet. It's just a whirlwind. I went out to dinner for my wife's birthday and then I got the call. I haven't been out there since September of 2008. It's good to be back."
Strasburg to be held to 90 pitches in return
LOS ANGELES -- Look for Stephen Strasburg to throw no more than 90 pitches on Tuesday against the Marlins, according to Nationals manager Jim Riggleman. It will be Strasburg's first game since July 21 after missing three starts because of shoulder stiffness.
Left-hander Scott Olsen will get the start on Wednesday. Riggleman is not sure who will start after that.
Nats trainer OK after being hit by warmup throw
LOS ANGELES -- Assistant athletic trainer Mike McGowan had to leave the Nationals dugout before the bottom of the first inning started after being hit on the right cheek by an errant warmup throw.
The injury is not considered serious. He is conscious and alert.