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MLB Roundup: Nats' Johnson plays Harper, Chipper Jones blasts veteran ump

The SportsXchange

Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson planned to bench outfielder Bryce Harper this weekend but changed his mind after receiving a demanding text message from Harper.

Johnson told reporters Saturday that Harper sent him a text after Friday night's game that read: "Play me or trade me."

So Johnson nixed his plans to rest Harper, who came into Saturday in a 0-for-18 slump.

"Since trading him is out of the question, I guess he's playing," Johnson said.

Johnson said he brought Harper into his office and they talked it out.

Harper homered in his first at-bat after coming off the disabled list with knee bursitis. However, he has struggled since then.

---Former Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones does not like what he sees when Angele Hernandez is umpiring a game.

The future Hall of Famer, who retired at the end of last season, sent out a series of tweets Friday expressing his dissatisfaction with the job Hernandez is doing.

Even though Hernandez has more than 2,500 games of major league umpiring experience, he is not considered popular among fans and players due to his perceived inconsistent strike zone.

"Didn't take Angel long to screw up the strike zone, did it??? Hang with em, Simba!!!" Jones wrote early during the Braves 5-4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.

Jones then tweeted that he would boycott any games that Hernandez is working.

"I will not watch a game, any game, officiated by Angel Hernandez! His incompetence amazes me and I'm tired of MLB doing squat about it! Nite," he wrote.

But Jones was not done. He concluded by urging fans to join him in refusing to watch games worked by Hernandez.

"Our only recourse, as fans, is to turn the station whenever he, or his crew, are on the field. When viewer numbers go down, MLB will notice," Jones wrote.

Jones played 19 seasons, all with the Braves, and is considered one of the greatest switch hitters of all time.

---The New York Yankees activated infielder Eduardo Nunez from the 60-day disabled list Saturday and placed right-handed pitcher David Phelps on the 15-day DL with a right forearm sprain.

Nunez was out for two months with a left ribcage strain. He went 6-for-16 with one RBI and four walks in seven minor league rehab games. He will fill in at shortstop until Derek Jeter returns.

Phelps allowed four runs in 6 1/3 innings against the Minnesota Twins on Thursday. He has a 5.01 ERA over 82 2/3 innings this season.

His spot in the rotation will be held by Ivan Nova, who tossed a complete-game victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Friday with 11 strikeouts.

---The Cleveland Indians recalled right-handed pitcher Carlos Carrasco from AAA Columbus and optioned right-hander Joe Martinez to Columbus.

Carrasco was scheduled to start Saturday's game against the Detroit Tigers. He is 0-3 with an 8.17 ERA.

Martinez had a 1.80 ERA in two appearances.
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