What to do about Harper?
Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper is second in the Majors in walks with 48 and leads the league 13 intentional walks. Pitchers are respecting his power and trying to not get beat by working around him.
Will the Reds do that this week?
“It’d be a great idea if he didn’t have a guy hitting. 400 behind him who hits homers too and doubles and is wreaking havoc on the National League,” Reds manager Bryan Price said on Friday.
Price of course was referring to Daniel Murphy, who is hitting fourth behind Harper.
“I think you can only go so far,” Price continued. “We have to do our best to manage him as well as these other guys in the lineup having nice years.
“I think you have to kind of pick your poison but working your way around Harper and ending up with Murphy doesn’t always seem like the best idea either. I think we have to be aggressive and pitch to him. It’s like Barry Bonds, if you’re going to go after him, you go after him. If you’re going to pitch around him, you sure better have a real good plan for the guy hitting behind him. Right now, Murphy is pretty dangerous too.”