Harper, Norris have big nights in Arizona

Bryce Harper seems to have put his early struggles behind him in the Arizona Fall League. And he’s taking Derek Norris with him.

Harper went 2-for-3 with a homer Wednesday night, driving in four runs in the Scottsdale Scorpions’ win over the Mesa Solar Sox. The 19-year-old is now 10-for-26 in his last seven games, with a pair of homers and 10 RBIs. Harper has also doubled twice and tripled once in that stretch. And Norris, who also went 2-for-3, is 10-for-20 with a pair of homers in his last seven games.

It’s Norris’ rise that might make one of the Nationals’ catchers expendable in the long run; he only hit .210 at Double-A Harrisburg last year, but team officials love his plate approach and he fashioned a .367 on-base percentage last season. General manager Mike Rizzo said yesterday that Norris’ receiving skills are improving, as well, and it seems likely he will start at Triple-A Syracuse next year.

In light of that, it wouldn’t be surprising if the team is willing to part with Jesus Flores in a trade, especially if there’s a team that feels Flores can start. Ivan Rodriguez’s future is also in limbo; Rizzo said he hasn’t talked to the 39-year-old since the beginning of the offseason, and will wait to announce the Nationals’ coaching staff before deciding if it would be worth trying to bring Rodriguez back.