Ejected and suspended, Bryce Harper's college career likely over

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Next week Bryce Harper will be the No. 1 pick in the draft, but last night the 17-year-old phenom may have seen his junior college career come to a premature end by getting ejected for arguing a called third strike.
Unhappy with a fifth-inning strikeout during the National Junior College World Series, the soon-to-be Washington National took his bat and drew a line in the batter’s box where he thought the pitch crossed, at which point the home plate umpire tossed him.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the ejection would normally carry a one-game suspension, but because Harper was also ejected once during the regular season the suspension is increased to two games. At most his Southern Nevada team could have three games remaining this season, but they’ll have to win twice without Harper to make it to the junior college championship game and have him available.
In the grand scheme of things a player being ejected from a game for arguing balls and strikes is certainly not a big deal, but Harper’s maturity and makeup have long been in question. His coach, Tim Chambers, naturally defended Harper, saying he was wrongfully ejected by “an umpire with an attitude” and calling it “an awfully quick trigger … on a stage like this, in this environment.”
I’ll say this about Harper: In terms of the hit his reputation will take from the ejection and suspension, he sure picked a great time to have a run-in with an umpire.
UPDATE: Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com has video of the ejection, so you can judge for yourself.

Shelby Miller will undergo Tommy John surgery

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Last we heard from Shelby Miller, the Diamondbacks’ right-hander was contemplating Tommy John surgery for a partial UCL tear in his right elbow. Now, he appears to have decided to go through with the procedure.

Miller decided to skip Tommy John alternatives like plasma-rich platelet injections or stem cell treatment, which have been used to varying degrees of success by other major league pitchers with similar injuries. The surgery will set him back an estimated 12-18 months, FanRag Sports’ Tommy Stokke reports, which puts Miller’s estimated return date somewhere in 2018 if all goes well.

The 26-year-old starter was off to a rocky start this season, posting a 2-2 record and 4.09 ERA through 22 innings and striking out just 20 of 99 batters faced. This was his sophomore campaign in Arizona after muddling through the 2016 season with a 3-12 record, 6.15 ERA and 0.5 fWAR over 101 innings with the club.

Steven Souza Jr. exits game after injuring his hand on a hit by pitch

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Rays’ right fielder Steven Souza Jr. left Saturday’s game after getting hit on the left hand by a pitch from Blue Jays’ right-hander Joe Biagini in the seventh inning. The pitch appeared to hit the top of Souza Jr.’s hand, causing the outfielder to crumple at the plate and requiring assistance from assistant athletic trainer Paul Harker as he exited the field. Postgame reports from the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin revealed that Souza Jr. sustained a left hand contusion and is scheduled to undergo further evaluation on Sunday.

While the diagnosis isn’t as bad as it could be, it’s still a tough break for the right fielder, who missed 40 days of the 2015 season after sustaining a fracture in his left hand on another hit by pitch. The team has yet to announce any concrete timetable for Souza Jr.’s return, though manager Kevin Cash indicated that they’ll be taking things day to day for the time being.

Souza Jr. is batting .326/.398/.543 with four home runs and 17 RBI through 104 PA in 2017. He went 1-for-2 with a base hit and a walk prior to his departure during Saturday’s 4-1 loss.