Bryce Harper: 3 HRs, 5 RBIs in minors

Updated: June 29, 2014, 9:32 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

If Saturday night was any indication, Bryce Harper is certainly ready to return to the major leagues.

The Washington Nationals outfielder went 4 for 5 with three home runs and five RBIs in a rehab start for Double-A Harrisburg in Akron, Ohio. Harper served as the designated hitter and batted third for the Senators in his third rehab appearance.

The 2012 NL Rookie of the Year was hitting .289 with a homer and nine RBIs for the Nationals before injuring his thumb on a headfirst slide into third base. He was put on the disabled list on April 27 and had ligament surgery two days later.

Nationals manager Matt Williams said after Saturday's day-night doubleheader against the Chicago Cubs that he is not sure if Harper will play another game for Harrisburg on Sunday. The Nationals are optimistic he will return early in the week, if not Monday when they open a three-game series against Colorado.

Williams will have to do some shuffling when Harper returns. Ryan Zimmerman, whose chronic shoulder problems have moved him off third base, has been playing in Harper's spot in left field.

Williams originally said Zimmerman will move back to third, but the manager said earlier this week he will move players around depending on matchups and to give players rest. Zimmerman could be playing first base, third base or left field, while Harper will be used in all three outfield positions. Anthony Rendon will shuffle between second base and third base.

The Nationals have been playing well recently in Harper's absence and are tied with the Atlanta Braves for first place in the NL East.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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