Around the NL East: Bryce Harper's Flu Game, Halladay Notches 200, Mets' Harvey Still Dominating, Giancarlo Trade Interest

Marc Serota

The Braves were the only team in the NL East to have better than a .500 record over their last ten games. Which is fantastic news for us fans.

Cashing in a lazy journalism card this week and publishing a day early. I'm going on my first baseball road trip of the season this weekend, and foolishly heading to one of the parts of the country where it's apparently still winter; but if everything goes according to plan, I'll be crossing the Rockies' Coors Field off my list of MLB ballparks, as well as making a brief visit down to Colorado Springs to see the Rockies' AAA club.

Welcome back to the basement.

*against the Marlins


Bryce Harper has a flu game - Nats Enquirer
And by "flu game," I mean, despite being sick, still goes out and dominates in spite of physical agony. Sad to say, I can't assume everyone remember Michael Jordan's flu game from 1998, but basically he was allegedly food poisoned, cited having flu-like symptoms, but still buried the Utah Jazz in the NBA Finals. Well, Bryce Harper had his own flu-like symptoms, but still had a 4/5 night, en route to an easy win.*

Wilson Ramos on DL with strained hamstring - Nationals Journal
While trying to beat out a throw, Wilson Ramos ran a little too hard. In spite of all the work he put over the last year to come back from a torn ACL, the dreaded hamstring pull is going to shelve the catcher of the future for a few weeks.

Jordan Zimmermann notches first career complete game* - Nats Insider
Sure, it was against the woeful Marlins, but a complete game is a complete game. I had a conversation with my friend and stated that it would probably be 2014 when the Nationals would actually allow Zimmermann to get a complete game, with Stephen Strasburg allowed to go for it in 2015.

The relatively old guys are struggling - MASN
Dan Haren has allowed 26 hits, and opposing batters are hitting a brutal .388 off of him in his three starts where he's only managed to complete 13.1 innings of work. Even the Marlins were able to hang seven on Haren, which creates legitimate reason for panic to fans in D.C. And of course, there's lots of analysis on Ryan Zimmerman's terrible yips-like throwing this season.

Which has put his arm in the spotlight - The Bog
Ouch, you know it's bad when the BBTN crew feels like they can dismantle and dissect Ryan Zimmerman's throwing motion and get away with it. Worse off is that Zim's old manager, Manny Acta has joined in the fray and smugly exclaims that "it didn't used to be like that," namely the tenure in which Acta was the Nationals' manager.

Prospect Matt Skole done for season with Tommy John and wrist surgery - MASN
The scary thing about all this is that first baseman-prospect Skole didn't injure this in any sort of throwing motion, but just a freak collision during a game.

Nationals Park feels the necessity to voice their opinion on the wave - The Bog
Sometimes I feel like Nationals Park is kind of an insecure place. I got this feeling initially from the overblown "Take Back the Park" campaign which for the most part kind of worked, but now they're targeting the wave? Yeah, I don't much care for the wave either, but frankly it's kind of a part of the game now. Just about every park I've been to tries to get it started at some capacity, and those who want to do it, do it, and those who don't, like me, sit on their butt and staunchly watch baseball. But trying to suppress something, will undoubtedly create rebellion, and as far as D.C. is concerned, watch the wave escalate. Or at least opposing Phillies fans will try to get it started at every chance they get if they come back en masse.

Ex-National Nyjer Morgan in Japan - Nats NQ
You can see he's got some issues with the Japanese strike zone, but once everything settled down, I'd imagine Nyjer goes through the same song and dance in Japan as he did with every team in the U.S.; wow them for a few months, and then tank them.


Roy Halladay notches 200th career win* - High Cheese
Okay, that was a cheap shot, but it's true. I'm pretty sure the Lynchburg Hillcats could take the Marlins in a three-game series right now.

Ben Revere makes incredible catch with a much-needed message on his glove - TGP
Despite the fact that the Phillies got swept by the Reds, they leave Cincinnati with a highlight that will be among the year's best, with Ben Revere making this insane diving catch that had him skidding across the warning track in the process, and collecting himself enough to double up a base-runner at first who was convinced it was going to drop. All while having an inspirational message to "Pray for Boston" taped to his glove.

While Jonathan Papelbon uses the Boston tragedy to inject his political agenda to the media - High Cheese
Since he was a former Red Sock, and claims to have lived "right near" where the Boston Marathon bombings occurred, he clearly needs to use this time to talk about gun control safety.

John Lannan and Domonic Brown might have been hurt in Cincinnati - Philles Nation
More than their egos, after getting swept, but after getting clobbered within a diminutive 1.2IP Phillies debut, John Lannan may have tweaked a knee due to tendinitis. Meanwhile Domonic Brown, whose defense has always been somewhat suspect, is suffering through some yet-unknown reasoned back pain.

Ryan Howard's slowness is causing some strategic issues for Manuel - Phillies Zone
Never known for blazing, gazelle-like speed through his career, Ryan Howard's speed after ACL surgery in 2011 is still the subject of concern, more so than ever this season. Charlie Manuel is forced to juggle the notion of sacrificing Howard's still fairly potent bat for speed on the basepaths, when the Phillies are in critical late-game situations that could be better off with a superior base-runner.

Phillies' reputation as being ancient-minded has reached the minor leagues - TGP
It's becoming less and less of a secret with each passing season of the geek takeover, that the Phillies are an organization that utilizes the stat-driven mentalities less than the norm. So much to the point where even minor league commentators feel the need to talk about it; the video is kind of ironic, because the Red Sox are known to be one of the geekier teams in the league, having godfather Bill James himself on their payroll, but when you look at the game's score, the Paw Sox are still losing to the Iron Pigs.


Travis d'Arnaud breaks foot, out for "a while" - NY Daily News
This is terrible news for the Mets, who everyone knew was banking on bringing Travis d'Arnaud up in June. But after breaking the first metatarsal on his left foot, he's going to be looking at quite some recovery time before it's expected to be healthy again.

Matt Harvey continues to dominate for another week - NY Post
If there was ever anything for Mets fans to be excited about this season, it's counting down the days until Matt Harvey's next start. In his latest start, he shut down the Minnesota Twins with a dominant eight-inning performance, where he held the Twins hitless through the first seven, before yielding a hit and a run. He very well could be the NL pitcher of the month for April, if this keeps up.

Ruben Tejada has been pretty error prone this year - AA
Not even 20 games into the season, and Ruben Tejada has half of the errors (6) he accrued in 112 games (12) a year prior. Terry Collins is agreeing to stick with him for the time being, but it sounds more like out of necessity and that there's nobody really truly ready in the Mets' system, rather than just good faith.

Terry Collins wants Zack Wheeler up now, but Sandy Alderson probably won't allow it - NY Daily News
Firstly, Wheeler has been wildly inconsistent in AAA at the moment, and there's also that pesky blister situation that is preventing him from actually pitching at the moment.

Cold weather may have been a factor in Lucas Duda's bad back - NY Post
Talk about tough luck of the draw by the Mets these last two weeks. One game in Minnesota and two more in Colorado, but the Mets have been snowed out of three games over the last week. How 'bout that summer game?

Shaun Marcum and Frank Francisco slowly on their way back - AA
Marcum has been steadily making progress with bullpen sessions and simulated games, while Francisco has already been pitching down in Port St. Lucie.


Analyzing where Giancarlo Stanton could be traded to - Fish Stripes
Despite the fact that Jeffrey Loria has stated he would not trade Giancarlo Stanton, his word means absolutely nothing these days, considering he said he wasn't going to trade Hanley Ramirez or Jose Reyes either. That being said, I have to agree that the Marlins and the Rangers seem to match up nicely in terms of needs, but I can't imagine the Rangers unloading both Jurickson Profar and Mike Olt for Giancarlo.

Adeiny Hechavarria out with sore elbow - Fish Bytes
Watch this just be the luck of the Marlins; one of their brighter youngsters, hurting his elbow while making a throw to first, watch him him actually need like Tommy John Surgery or something along the lines of bad, now.

You know it's bad when people sound relieved to activate a backup first baseman - Palm Beach Post
Joe Mahoney, who actually had a really decent spring prior to hurting his oblique was activated this week. But in a reality world, Mahoney's little better than a backup first baseman type, but due to the fact that it's the Marlins, he's a long-awaited starter returning to a hero's welcome.

Austin Kearns hospitalized with irregular heartbeat - Fish Bytes
Kearns, who rightfully earned his roster spot by duking it out over the Spring, is halted by an irregular heartbeat which required a hospital stay. Although this is bad news for Kearns, it does open the door to Marlins minor leaguers who are artificially being held in the farm due to service clock preservation, and nothing really more.

Marlins sign David Aardsma to minor league deal - Sun Sentinel
Aardsma, who holds the distinct title of being the very first baseball player listed, when listed alphabetically in history, as well as a former reliever for the Mariners, Red Sox, Cubs, White Sox, Giants and Yankees, signs a minor league deal with the Fish. Only with a team like the Marlins is this actually newsworthy.

Jose Fernandez doesn't really know how to put on a jacket - Marlins Diehards
You know, most young pitchers just concern themselves with the arduous task of getting a fastball to cross the plate, but all those years in DH-ing minor leagues, Jose Fernandez never thought about the fact that if he ever got on base in the National League, he might have to put his jacket back on.

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