MLB notebook: Nationals manager Williams says he supports Harper
One day after Bryce Harper expressed his thoughts on the ideal lineup for the Nationals, his manager had a clear message for reporters.
“I've got to let you guys know something: I've got Bryce's back in every way. That will not change,” Matt Williams said.
On Monday, Harper returned to the Nationals after missing 57 games with a torn ligament in his left hand. With the All-Star outfielder back, the first-year manager has a full complement of potent options but some potentially tricky decisions. Harper, Washington's left fielder pre-injury, suggested a configuration where he moves to center — the usual home for Denard Span.
• Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill reiterated that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is not on the trade market. MLB.com reported Hill made the statement in response to information that was hacked from an Astros database and posted on Deadspin.com, which revealed private conversations between Houston and other teams.
• The Rangers finally ran out of patience with left-hander Joe Saunders, who was designated for assignment after going winless in eight starts. He was 0-5 with a 6.13 ERA.
• The Braves placed catcher Evan Gattis on the 15-day disabled list and recalled right-hander Juan Jaime from Triple-A Gwinnett. Gattis is hitting .290 with 16 homers and 39 RBIs.
• Giants center fielder Angel Pagan was scheduled to be examined by a specialist in Los Angeles after a setback in his recovery from a back injury.
• The Astros placed center fielder Dexter Fowler on the disabled list with a back strain. Fowler is hitting .270 with six homers and 24 RBIs.
• A federal appeals court said it will reconsider Barry Bonds' felony conviction for obstruction of justice. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a special panel of 11 judges will review a 2011 jury verdict finding Major League Baseball's all-time home run leader guilty of giving evasive testimony to a grand jury investigating elite athletes' use of performance-enhancing drugs.
— Wire reports