Kevin Youkilis doesn't have much use for statistical analysis

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Youkilis, a guy many people first heard about by virtue of him being prominently mentioned in “Moneyball” — and a guy who plays for arguably the most stat-savvy team in baseball — don’t need no stinkin’ sabermetrics:

“I don’t go off all those UZRs . . . is it UZR?” Youkilis said. “I
don’t even know what it is. I hope my UZR is sick, along with my OBSTR.

“I don’t know how they do it. How do you measure defense? You make
an error, you make an error. You get to a ball, you don’t get to a
ball. What if you have a bad hamstring and you can’t get to a ball up
the line? I don’t know what they evaluate, but a good ballplayer is a
good ballplayer.”

And if I’m the Red Sox I’m perfectly happy with this answer. I want the players playing good defense — which Youkilis manifestly does — and not thinking too hard about how it rates. There are plenty of underpaid analysts on staff to worry about whether Youkilis’ UZR is sick.

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.