The internet seemed to be abuzz yesterday when quotes from Bryce Harper ran in an ESPN.com story about how players try to bulk up during the offseason in order to combat the natural weight loss that occurs during a season.
"I want to go into spring training about 240, 245 (lbs.)," Harper said in the story. "I'll lose about 20 pounds during the season."
Various Web sites picked up the story and it quickly spread. Ah, the Internet.
In reality, this is the same offseason plan that Harper had last year, when he bulked up from 215 lbs. to 230 lbs. and came into Viera, Fla., "big as a house," as he likes to say. Harper might have intentions of adding even a few more pounds to his frame going into this spring training, but he had indicated as much late in the 2013 season.
Many players lose weight naturally over the course of a season because of the everyday nature of the sport and the fact that they often aren't able to get in full workouts. Heck, many of them even lose a bunch of pounds during spring training due to long workouts and throwing/hitting sessions in high temperatures.
The first couple of days of spring training are often a bit interesting, as various players walk by you in the clubhouse looking significantly more bulked-up than you remember them being late in the previous season, when seven months of nearly constant competition has taken its toll on their bodies.
My only question when it comes to Harper packing on the pounds this offseason is how that added weight will affect his surgically repaired left knee, both in the early stages of spring training and during the season.
Harper underwent surgery on Oct. 23 to debride and repair the bursa sac in his left knee, which he originally injured crashing into the right field wall at Dodger Stadium on May 13.
The Nationals estimated that he would require four to six weeks of recovery time and would be ready for the start of spring training. Manager Matt Williams said at the Winter Meetings in December that Harper was progressing well in his rehab, along with Stephen Strasburg and Adam LaRoche, who both underwent minor elbow surgeries.
"The good thing about the offseason surgeries this year is that they were clean-up surgeries," Williams said. "They weren't major surgeries. It was stuff that is easily rehabbed and they should be ready."
The ESPN.com story notes that Harper ended the season weighing around 218 lbs., and it appears he'll add more than 20 pounds to that after having his knee repaired a couple of months ago.
Meanwhile, in other Harper-related news, he apparently plans to hit a home run wearing a UFC championship belt sometime soon.
OK, so according to Harper, the dinger will take place during batting practice. But still, that would be a cool thing to see.
And talk about some sweet free promotion for UFC.