WASHINGTON -- Slugger Bryce Harper exited Thursday's 4-2 win over the D-backs with a left groin injury and was deemed day to day by Nationals manager Dusty Baker.
Harper went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored and struck out swinging in the sixth inning before Chris Heisey replaced him in right field. Baker called the move to pull his star player "precautionary."
"His groin tightened up on him, and so we took him out," Baker said. "We just have to see. He's day to day."
The right fielder tweaked his groin while making a spectacular diving catch in the top of the third to rob Arizona starter Braden Shipley of a base hit. Harper didn't appear to show any signs of an injury after making the grab, and he stayed in the game, but said the area tightened up as the game progressed.
"I feel good," Harper said. "I felt it a little bit, little tight. I felt good in my second at-bat; my third at-bat I grounded out to second, and that last at-bat I just felt it a little too much so I was trying to get out of there and get some treatment. Everybody knows I want to play in Philly."
The 2015 National League Most Valuable Player, who's in the midst of another excellent season, noted how Washington's training staff likes to err on the side of caution. The club already lost center fielder Adam Eaton for the season because of a torn ACL and cannot afford to lose Harper for an extended period of time.
"They want to be smart. If we feel it during the game, they want us out of there," Harper said. "I felt it a little bit and made sure to get in here, get with [executive director of medical services Harvey Sharman], and hopefully get ready for tomorrow."
Oliver Macklin is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.