CLEVELAND -- While the Nationals are in Philadelphia next week, outfielder Bryce Harper could be involved in baseball activities, according to manager Davey Johnson.
Johnson also indicated Harper will need to begin a rehab assignment, most likely at Class A Potomac, before he plays in a big league game. Harper has been on the disabled list since June 1 because of left knee bursitis. He originally hurt the knee on May 13 after crashing into the right-field wall at Dodger Stadium.
"He will have to go to Potomac, running around out there and seeing if the knee stays calm," Johnson said.
Espinosa's rehab stint underway at Syracuse
CLEVELAND -- Danny Espinosa started a rehab assignment for Triple-A Syracuse on Thursday and went 1-for-2 with a single, run scored and a strikeout. He was expected to play at least five innings on Friday against Toledo.
Espinosa has been on the disabled list since June 4 because of a right wrist fracture. Manager Davey Johnson doesn't expect Espinosa to have any setbacks, like he has had previously. Espinosa is also dealing with a torn left rotator cuff.
"He is a tough guy. I don't think the injuries are going to set him back," said Johnson. "I think he needs to get his timing down and start feeling good about himself from the left side and the right side [of the plate]."
Top prospect Solis has sore shoulder
CLEVELAND -- Class A Potomac left-hander Sammy Solis is currently dealing with "general shoulder soreness," according to a baseball source. The soreness does not appear to be significant though, according to the source.
Solis missed all of 2012 because of Tommy John surgery and returned to action this year. In four starts this seasons, Solis has allowed six runs in 16 innings.
Solis was the Nationals' second-round pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.
• Johnson said he wanted to give third baseman Ryan Zimmerman a breather and made him the designated hitter on Friday against the Indians. Chad Tracy received the start at third.
"It's gives Tracy an opportunity to get out there and not just DH and not just think about hitting," Johnson said.
• Reliever Christian Garcia has been dealing with shoulder issues while at Syracuse, according to Johnson. Garcia is going to rest the shoulder and get treatment. Garcia needs to have four or five straight outings on the mound without any problems before he can think about coming back to the Major Leagues, Johnson said.
Garcia started the season on the DL because of forearm problems.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashinNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.