MLB notebook: Nationals star Harper expected back Friday
• The Nationals hope to have injured outfielder Bryce Harper back in the lineup Friday in Atlanta.Harper sat out for the fourth straight game Thursday with a left knee injury.
• The Royals hired Hall-of-Famer George Brett, 60, as their interim hitting coach, the club announced. Previous hitting coaches Jack Maloof and Andre David were reassigned to the minor leagues while Pedro Grifol will become a special assignment coach.
• Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will back off his rehab from a strained hamstring because of sore knees and there is no timetable for his return. Stanton went on the disabled list April 30. Manager Mike Redmond said Stanton could play catch and hit but will not be able to run.
• The Dodgers placed slumping center fielder Matt Kemp on the 15-day disabled list because of a right hamstring strain. The Dodgers recalled catcher Tim Federowicz from Triple-A Albuquerque.
• Mets pitcher Jonathon Niese will miss at least one turn in the starting rotation because of a shoulder tendinitis. Shortstop Ruben Tejada will be out at least two weeks with a strained right quadriceps.
• The Yankees plan to activate Andy Pettitte from the disabled list Monday and start the left-hander that night against the Indians. Pettitte hurt his trapezius muscle, near his pitching shoulder.
• The Twins' Trevor Plouffe was placed on the disabled list with a strained his left calf.