Ubaldo Jimenez's encore: 7.1 shutout innings

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Ubaldo Jimenez put on quite an encore performance Thursday, following his no-hitter by shutting out the Nationals for 7.1 innings. Jimenez allowed five hits and two walks while improving to 4-0 with a 0.95 ERA, although Jim Tracy letting him throw 121 pitches after needing 127 pitches for the no-hitter is worrisome.
He also threw 115 pitches in the start preceding the no-hitter, so Jimenez’s workload is piling up as he dominates. He topped 100 pitches in 29 of 33 starts last season, including 115 or more in 10 outings, but went beyond 120 pitches just twice and until now had never had back-to-back 120-pitch starts in his career.

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.