Miami Marlins

Nationals’ superstar Bryce Harper gives Marlins headaches

Bryce Harper, right fielder of the Washington Nationals run the bases after hitting a three-run home run in a game last season.
Bryce Harper, right fielder of the Washington Nationals run the bases after hitting a three-run home run in a game last season. el Nuevo Herald

Bryce Harper hasn’t done more damage to Marlins pitchers than any other opposing hitter. But he’s high on the list.

Harper has a career 1.014 OPS (on-base plus slugging) against the Marlins, which ranks sixth all-time among players with at least 200 at bats against them.

“He’s a dangerous guy,” manager Don Mattingly said Monday as the Marlins prepared to open a four-game series against Harper and the Washington Nationals. “He’s tough in all spots. There’s no real situation you like him up there. Right now, he’s young and he’s on top of the game.”

Mattingly said Harper reminds him of one of his playing contemporaries.

“He plays like a Kirk Gibson to me,” Mattingly said. “He plays hard, strong, fast. He has all the tools. He plays with a lot of intensity.”

The only players who have a higher lifetime OPS against the Marlins are Barry Bonds (1.116), Larry Walker (1.092), Adrian Beltre (1.033), Ray Lankford (1.033) and Matt Holliday (1.027).

ICHIRO HIGHLIGHT

Ichiro Suzuki needs one more stolen base to reach 500 for his career. Out of all of them, which stolen base — or caught stealing — stands out the most?

Suzuki came up with two: His steal of third on the final day of the 2001 season — his first in the majors — that gave him the stolen base title by one theft over Roger Cedeno.

And the time in 2007 he was thrown out to end his streak of 45 consecutive steals, the second-longest streak in major-league history behind Vince Coleman’s run of 50 in a row.

“As a player, I need to use my speed, so I guess that’s a number [500] that I want to have because that’s my game,” Suzuki said.

Suzuki also tallied two hits Sunday to raise his career total to 2,939.

LEARNING CURVE

Kyle Barraclough said he won’t make the same mistake next spring he did this past one.

Barraclough, considered a favorite to win an Opening Day spot in the bullpen, had a rough spring that resulted in his demotion to Triple A New Orleans.

“I don’t think I’ve ever really had a good spring training,” Barraclough said. “But it was a learning experience, and you’ve got to come in a little more prepared, ready to lock it in from the get-go. I didn’t pitch well enough to earn that job.”

Barraclough acknowledged he might have put “a little too much pressure on myself, trying to earn the job” in what marked his first spring in a big-league camp.

Barraclough was called up on Sunday and struck out three — along with one walk — in his first appearance out of the bullpen this season for the Marlins.

COMING UP

▪ Tuesday: Marlins LHP Adam Conley (0-0, 3.86 ERA) vs. Washington Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg (2-0, 1.98), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.

▪ Wednesday: Marlins LHP Wei-Yin Chen (0-0, 5.56) vs. Washington Nationals RHP Joe Ross (2-0, 0.61), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.

Related stories from Miami Herald

  Comments