Via Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore:
Davey: "Probably out of the question" that Bryce Harper plays this weekend in Atlanta. DL becoming a possibility.— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) May 31, 2013
Harper's sore knee has kept him on the bench since May 26. Skipping the weekend would bring the total of days missed to seven, so the Nats would be nearly halfway to a 15-day disabled list stint while playing shorthanded. Given that their next six games are against NL East opponents Atlanta and New York, you'd think they would want to have a full complement of players.
As it is, things have not been going well for the Nats -- since winning five in a row May 4-10, they've gone 7-12 and are hitting .225/.283/.363 with an average of 3.3 runs per game in that span. Since Harper sat they've gone 1-3 with an odd .241/.257/.481 line -- they've hit eight home runs in 133 at-bats, but haven't been able to get anyone on base overall.
There's no replacing a Harper, but the Nationals have other problems, such as Danny Espinosa trying to play through a broken wrist -- he's hitting .162/.194/.284. Infielder Anthony Rendon is tearing things up at Double-A (.330/.473/.625) and the Nats may have to give him a real shot before long. Outfielder Jayson Werth and catcher Wilson Ramos also remain on the disabled list.