Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper might skip this year’s Home Run Derby at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati because his father, who would be his pitcher at the derby, is nursing an injured shoulder, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer's C. Trent Rosecrans.
Harper, who still would have to be asked to enter the derby, entered Sunday tied for the MLB lead with 18 home runs. He also finished second in the 2013 derby.
Harper's father, Ron, was his pitcher in the 2013 derby but recently had rotator cuff surgery after a snowboarding accident.
“I probably won’t be able to do it this year, because he’s my guy,” Harper said, according to the Enquirer.
“We’ll see if I end up doing it or not,” Harper said. “As of right now, I don’t know if I’ll end up doing it.”
The derby is scheduled for July 13, one day before the All-Star Game.
With Sunday’s 8–2 win, the Reds swept their weekend series with the Nationals at Great American Ball Park. Harper went 1-for-4 in Friday's opener before being scratched for the final two games with a sore back.
- Mike Fiammetta