The Washington Nationals have signed infielder Will Rhymes to a minor league deal according to Bill Ladson of MLB.com. The 29-year-old is a three-year MLB veteran who appeared in 47 games for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2012.
Ryhmes is a local product of sorts having graduated from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. He was raised and attended high school in Houston, Texas.
Rhymes has played both second and third base in his career since making his major league debut in 2010. He played two seasons with the Detroit Tigers before spending last year with the Rays. Detroit drafted Rhymes in the 27th round of the 2005 MLB draft.
A left-handed batter, Rhymes holds a .266 career average with two home runs, 54 runs, and 26 RBI in 130 total games. He batted .228 with 28 hits in 47 games in 2012.
Bryce Harper struggled by his standards in 2016 and he says he know why it happened last year. While it was rumored last season that he was playing through injuries, Harper never really missed significant time, nor did he really say that his injuries were the reason for his disappointing numbers.
Speaking with the media today at spring training, Harper hinted at his injuries from last season as he said he was just trying to stay in the lineup every day.
Although Harper's statistics dropped off dramatically from his MVP season in 2015, his numbers weren't entirely awful last year. He still hit 24 homers, drove in 86 runs and he had an .814 OPS.
With a full offseason to heal up, Harper will be a prime bounce-back candidate as he looks to help the Nationals win their third NL East title in the last four years.
Related: Sorry D.C. sports fans, Bryce Harper is a Dallas Cowboys fan
The Nationals aren't certain to have ace Max Scherzer ready to pitch for Opening Day. Scherzer, 32, was unable to compete in the World Baseball Classic this summer due to a stress fracture in his right ring finger.
When he spoke to the media today at the first bullpen session of spring training, he said that the fracture has healed but the symptoms continue.
Scherzer also said he'd just started throwing again this week. Manager Dusty Baker confimed that the Nationals don't know whether Scherzer will be ready to start the season.
Any time a team's star pitcher suffers an unusual hand injury, it's cause for concern for the club and fans.
Scherzer won the NL Cy Young Award last season and posted a 20-7 record as a starter. He also led the MLB with 284 strikeouts.
Scherzer is an especially vital part of the Nationals rotation considering the injury history of Stephen Strasburg, who landed on the DL twice last season, once with soreness in the elbow that needed Tommy John surgery in 2010.
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