Turns out, Nationals rookie phenom Bryce Harper will be heading to Kansas City, Mo., after all. Harper didn't win an All-Star selection by the Final Vote, but when Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton withdrew with a knee injury that will require surgery, National League manager Tony La Russa chose Harper as his replacement. The 19-year-old becomes the youngest position player in major league history to be named to the All-Star team. The Nationals had been hoping that Harper would get the four-day break to go home to Las Vegas and rest after playing in every game since his call-up April 28. When he lost the Final Vote on Thursday, Harper spoke of the chance to get away "be Bryce for a day" and enjoy a mental break. He won't get that chance any longer. "It's such a great honor," said Nationals manager Davey Johnson, who delivered the news to Harper after the Nationals' 4-1 victory over the Rockies on Saturday. "You can't say no unless you need the rest, and he's up for it." Harper's selection means the Nationals will still have three representatives in the game. They were down to just Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez after shortstop Ian Desmond withdrew to rest his sore left oblique. Desmond, who called the decision a "tough" one, was wary of risking further injury to an oblique that has been sore since early June and has required treatment each day since then. Braves center fielder Michael Bourn took his spot on the team. "It will be an honor," Gonzalez said of having Harper on the team. "That guy is unbelievable. He is 19 years old. That says it all for itself. It's almost to where I'm going to use his line, 'That's a clown question, bro.' If you have a kid like that in the All-Star Game I think it's well-deserved to have him right next to you."
Bryce Harper added to NL All-Star team as injury replacement
Washington Times | Jul 8