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Bryce Harper’s Elbow Injury Clouds Phillies 2023 Plans

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Bryce Harper's Elbow Injury Clouds Phillies 2023 Plans

Bryce Harper’s Elbow Injury Clouds Phillies 2023 Plans

If the news of Bryce Harper’s Tommy John surgery announcement holds any hope, it’s that the Phillies have been through it before.

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In late June, Harper broke his thumb after being hit by a field, causing him to miss two months of 52 games with the injury. About six weeks ago, an MRI revealed a fracture to his right UCL, forcing him to assume permanently designated hitter duties.

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None of this has slowed Harper down when he’s in the lineup, and from the Phillies’ standpoint, I hope the proceedings don’t diminish his revolutionary presence in the hitter’s realm. Still, the rocky return of fall classics has certainly become more poignant.

After initial reports indicated that Harper would return in mid-May, the team announced that they actually expected him to return as head coach before the All-Star break. It was a three-and-a-half-month absence for a key hitter, leaving the team in an even more precarious position to assemble a roster strong enough for the transition.

A lot of ink has been thrown on the Phillies’ shaky defense in recent years, but that substandard reputation has survived the actual results, as Philly made strides in that department late in the year. Those improvements were made primarily in the infield, although the outfield defense received a big boost with the mid-season trade of Brandon Marsh, who was actually a Gold Glove finalist in American League left field since he was in the Angels’ bullpen job. He will be in center for the Phillies for the foreseeable future, and if he continues his early career trajectory, he will be a star there.

The Phillies’ shaky defense has gotten a lot of criticism in recent years, but that reputation for underperformance has outweighed actual results as Philly makes strides in that department later in the year. Those improvements were mostly in the infield, though Brandon Marsh’s midseason move greatly improved the outfield defense, and he was actually a Gold Glove finalist in left field in the American League because of his time with the Angels’ Bulls. shed work. He’ll be the centerpiece of the Phillies for the foreseeable future, and if he continues his early career, he’ll be a star there.

For the Phillies to go three-plus months without Harper, it has to be him. Because while Philly is holding steady in 2022 — and eventually moving up the standings — Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos combined for 260 defensive starts, they’re doing so mostly Because Harper’s bat is still in the lineup to make up for their defensive deficiencies. Now he won’t be there at all (at least for the first half of the season), leaving less room for error and making Marsh’s defensive contributions more important.

Outside of the outfield, Philly’s offense also needs a center fielder, either replacing Jean Segura at second base (currently a free agent) or Bryson Stott at shortstop. Maybe that means Dave Dombrowski will target one of the “big four” shortstops and add more star power to the lineup. That being said, an off season for Castellanos will go a long way toward keeping the ship afloat in Harper’s absence.

As far as Harper’s game while recovering from major elbow surgery, there are few records for position players who have gone through a similar experience. Most recently, Shohei Ohtani served as a DH for a year after undergoing surgery on Tommy John during the 2018-19 season. He had surgery in October and started playing in MLB in early May, about seven months after surgery, around the same time frame as Harper. Ohtani has had a stellar season, which bodes well for what to expect when Harper finally gets to play again.

Compared with last season’s string of mishaps — from Harper’s injury to a 21-29 start to a midseason head coach change — it seemed like an exception. But the burden of losing a team face for more than half a season may be heavier than expected, even with a strong roster. During Philadelphia’s October Magic trip, Harper at times seemed to be using magic on his racket just when his team needed it most. Hopefully the Phillies have a chance in 2023, and he leaves more savings for a rough road ahead.

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She is the editor of River C Sports. Previously, she was editor-in-chief at other news sites. July has also in her career been an editor for several websites and has more than 5 years of experience in the industry.

MLB

Interest from other teams could make Chris Sale wear another shirt in 2023

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Interest from other teams could make Chris Sale wear another shirt in 2023

Interest from other teams could make Chris Sale wear another shirt in 2023

Although no more serious negotiations have begun, the Boston Red Sox have noted the interest of other franchises in pitcher Chris Sale and have not ruled out involving him in a possible trade.

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Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported that while the Red Stockings are not thinking of trading any of their starters, they may at least listen and consider offers for the members of the rotation, due to many options in the sector.

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However, if the team decides that Ace’s time in Boston is over, Sale can veto his fate and choose where he will go, since the no-trade clause in his contract gives him this possibility.

Should any team decide to take over the pitcher’s contract this offseason, they will secure his services for at least two more years, as Chris Sale becomes a free agent only in 2025.

Known for his excellent left-handedness, the athlete has a considerable history of physical problems. In addition to missing the entire already shortened 2020 season as a result of recovery from Tommy John surgery, Sale also took the field nine times the following year in uneven performances.

This season did not start in good shape for Sale either, who missed the start due to a rib injury during Spring Training. When he was healthy, he played only twice and fractured his little finger during an away game against the New York Yankees in July in his last performance. In addition, he broke his wrist riding a bicycle.

“You can’t make that up, right?” said Chaim Bloom, head of baseball operations for the Sox Kings. “We need to send some people after whoever is with Chris Sale’s voodoo doll and get it back.”

Sale was among the top six nominees for the Cy Young award between 2012 and 2018, receiving seven All-Star Game nominations, one World Series win, recording the record for unblemished innings with three (tied with Sandy Koufax and Max Scherzer) and owns a 5.33 strikeouts-to-walk average, the best mark in league history.

Taking into account his wins, but also the medical issue, Chris Sale will have to prove himself again as an elite pitcher who has made it through the injuries. If so, he is a powerful weapon on the mound, regardless of the uniform he wears.

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Pirates sign veteran pitcher Rich Hill to a one-year deal

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Pirates sign veteran pitcher Rich Hill to a one-year deal

Pirates sign veteran pitcher Rich Hill to a one-year deal

The Pittsburgh Pirates and left-handed pitcher Rich Hill finalized terms on a one-year, $8 million contract on Tuesday (27), reported Jeff Passan of ESPN USA.

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Hill, 42, will be entering his 19th season in the MLB. He accumulated a 4.27 ERA with 109 strikeouts in 124.1 innings for the Boston Red Sox in 2022. Including, his last stint in Boston was his fourth with the team.

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Since 2015, when the lefty had a “resurgence” period in his career, he has maintained an average of 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings, along with a good 2.91 ERA (140 ERA+) and a 1.06 WHIP in 87 total games.

The veteran pitcher has also played for the Chicago Cubs, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Guardians, Los Angeles Angels, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins, Tampa Bay Rays, and New York Mets during his long career.

In addition to Hill, the Pirates have already signed Austin Hedges, Vince Velasquez, Jarlin Garcia, Carlos Santana, Connor Joe, and Ji-Man Choi this offseason.

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The Mariners acquire Wong from the Brewers in exchange for Winker and Toro.

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The Mariners acquire Wong from the Brewers in exchange for Winker and Toro.

The Mariners acquire Wong from the Brewers in exchange for Winker and Toro.

The Mariners acquired Kolten Wong from the Brewers on Friday in exchange for outfielder Jesse Winker and infielder Abraham Toro, filling a much-needed left-handed spot in their lineup.

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DETAILS OF THE TRADE

  • 2B for the Mariners Kolten Wong
  • Brewers are awarded: LF/DH INF Jesse Winker Toro, Abraham.

The Mariners will also receive $1.75 million to help offset Wong’s $10 million salary in 2023, when he will be a free agent. Winker is due $8.25 million in his final year before free agency, effectively a money and player swap for Seattle, while Toro is in his first year of arbitration as a Super Two player and won’t be a free agent until until 2026.

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Wong has been a Mariners goal since the team came short of signing him as a free agency ahead of the 2021 season, when Seattle offered a two-year deal but Milwaukee offered a third-year club option, which was the difference at the time, according to sources. The Mariners had inquired about Wong’s availability at the Trade Deadline the previous two seasons, but the competing Brewers were uninterested in moving him.

However, with numerous arbitration-eligible players set to receive raises this offseason, many in the business anticipated that the team might be willing to move some of its higher-priced players for payroll relief, prospect capital, and/or depth. Toro, a switch-hitting infielder with glimpses of good performance, provides longevity for the Brewers’ squad, while Winker, coming off a terribly disappointing season, returns to a division where he flourished with the Reds while facing the motivation of a contract year with the Brewers.

The Brewers activated Wong’s option last month instead of paying him a $2 million buyout, opening the door for him to be traded, which sparked interest from clubs other than Seattle, according to sources.

Wong, 32, is coming off what was maybe his greatest season at the plate, hitting.251/.339/.430 (.769 OPS) with a career-high 15 homers, 24 doubles, four triples, 47 RBIs, and 116 wRC+ (league average is 100) while collecting 2.5 wins above replacement, according to FanGraphs.

Some of this was by purpose, with a more deliberate attempt to raise the ball higher. His line-drive and fly-ball rates were the best in his career the last two years (49.3% combined), but his ground-ball percentage was the lowest (43.7% for ’21-22). It’s possible that his OPS+ in each of the last two seasons – 110 in ’21 and 118 in ’22 – was the greatest of his career.

Wong is a two-time Gold Glove Award winner who is coming off a defensively bad year in which he was worth minus-9 outs above average (placing in the third percentile, per Statcast) and minus-1 defensive runs saved.

Some of that could be attributed to lower-body injuries he battled throughout the year, such as a right calf strain from a hit-by-pitch in June, which led to a stint on the injured list and persisted despite treatment and footwear experimentation. A full offseason of rest and a Spring Training with infield coaching guru Perry Hill, who has helped J.P. Crawford and Ty France among others, should be beneficial.

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