Bryce Harper ready for rehab, will it be in Syracuse?

WASHINGTON (AP) - Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper is showing plenty of pop as he resumes on-field batting practice for the first time since undergoing ligament surgery on his left thumb last month.

Manager Matt Williams joked that the team "almost ran out of baseballs" during Harper's return to BP on Thursday.

Williams said Harper will begin a minor league rehab assignment after the Nationals begin a road trip next week.

Coincidentally, or perhaps not, Syracuse begins an 8 game homestand starting on Tuesday (Home from June 24-July 1)

Harper said he wants to spend eight or nine games in the minors to really push his thumb before returning to the big league club.

Syracuse fans certainly hope he rehabs in the Salt City where he was a member of the Chiefs for about three weeks at the beginning of the 2012 season before permanently getting the call-up to Washington.