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Bryce Harper to have thumb surgery: Fantasy impact

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Ray discusses the fantasy impact of Bryce Harper missing the next two months due to thumb surgery.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper will miss at least the next two months of the season as he will have surgery to repair a torn ulnar collaterl ligament in his left thumb. Here is Adam Kilgore from the Washington Post on the news:

Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper will undergo surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb and could miss more than two months, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Harper visited Dr. Thomas Graham at the Cleveland Clinic on Monday for a final opinion on his battered left thumb, which had already landed him on the Nationals' crowded disabled list. The diagnosis confirmed the Nationals' worst fear and will leave their already diminished lineup without one of its best players.

This is obviously the worst case scenario for the Nationals and Harper's owners, but I warned about this possibility in the Roto Roundup this morning:

That sounds like the worst case scenario, but if he misses six to eight weeks like Hamilton, outfielder Nate McLouth benefits the most, as he is the Nationals fourth outfielder at the moment. But we won't know the extent of the injury until Monday or Tuesday, so those of you in weekly transaction leagues have a decision to make as to how much FAAB to spend on McLouth. I bid $25 $12 of my $100 FAAB last night in the Tout Wars mixed league, and got him for $1 as no other owner bid on him. I am a little surprised at that, to be honest.

I hope some of you were able to grab Nate McLouth off of your league waiver wire today, as he is the most likely beneficiary from this terrible news. With Harper, Ryan Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos out with different injuries, the Nationals will be hard-pressed to score runs going forward. With the said, McLouth could be given the green light on the base paths to help the offense manufacture runs should Adam LaRoche get cold at the plate (he will).

Last season, McLouth hit .258 with 12 home runs, 76 runs, 36 RBI and 30 stolen bases leading off for the Orioles, so he could be good for 5-6 home runs and 10-15 stolen bases over the next few months.

This news obviously hurts Harper's value in all leagues, as even when he returns from the disabled list, his power may not return to the same levels until 2015. Those of you considering bailing  in keeper leagues should target Harper as a rebuild piece for 2015.

For more of the Nationals fan's reaction on the Harper injury, make sure you check out Federal Baseball, SB Nation's Nationals fan site.