Bryce Harper's (probably) back.
With just over two weeks left in the regular season, the Nationals star is set to be activated off the disabled list, according to the Washington Post's Chelsea Janes:
The plan is for Bryce Harper to be active tomorrow in Philly, according to people familiar with the situation.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) September 24, 2017
If Harper wakes up tomorrow and is in pain, this could change. As he's said, it's day-by-day. But this is the current plan. https://t.co/ovj4sAow46— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) September 24, 2017
Harper hasn't played since August 12, when he slipped awkwardly on the first base bag while trying to beat out a grounder. He suffered a signifcant bone bruise, although the injury looked considerably worse than it ended up being.
Before getting hurt, Harper was hitting .326/.419/.614 on the year with a 1.034 OPS and 29 home runs.
The Capitals have made another significant round of cuts, reassigning 16 players to AHL Hershey and releasing another.
Among the players headed to the Bears are: forwards John Albert, Mathias Bau, Chris Bourque, Dustin Gazley, Hampus Gustafsson, Tim McGauley, Garrett Mitchell, Mason Mitchell and Wayne Simpson; defensemen Kristofers Bindulis, Connor Hobbs, Tommy Hughes, Lucas Johansen, Hubert Labrie; and goalies Adam Carlson and Vitek Vanecek.
The club also released forward Stephen Collins.
The highest profile cuts were Johansen, the team's first round pick in 2016, and Hobbs. The Caps have high hopes for the young blue liners, but it’s obvious both will benefit from some seasoning in the minor leagues as they make the leap from junior to the pro ranks.
Hershey’s training opens on Monday.
After taking Sunday off, the Caps will return to practice on Monday with a roster of 36 players—and three preseason games left to sort out the position battles.
Forwards Riley Barber, Travis Boyd, Alex Chiasson, Tyler Graovac, Liam O’Brien, Anthony Peluso, Zach Sill, Devante Smith-Pelly, Chandler Stephenson, Jakub Vrana and Nathan Walker are left battling for the three available jobs up front.
Meanwhile, defensemen Madison Bowey, Christian Djoos, Jyrki Jokipakka, Tyler Lewington, Aaron Ness, Jonas Siegenthaler and Colby Williams are competing for the two open spots on the backend.
Although some players, such as Chiasson and Walker, have already begun to separate themselves from the others, you can expect the competition to intensify over the next week. The Caps host the Devils on Wednesday, then play at the Hurricanes on Friday and at the Blues on Sunday.