Michael Bourn suspended two games for making contact with umpire

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MLB has suspended Astros center fielder Michael Bourn two games for “aggressive actions” that included making physical contact with umpire Alfonso Marquez during the ninth inning of Saturday’s game.
Bourn angrily protested a close call at first base and in the process made what he described as “accidental” contact with Marquez, who immediately ejected him. Bernardo Fallas of the Houston Chronicle reports that Bourn will appeal the suspension, so he’ll be in the lineup tonight against the Cardinals.
Bourn is hitting .284/.366/.367 with a league-leading 11 steals and has started 29 of 31 games this season, with Jason Michaels filling in for him twice in center field.

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.