Nationals to announce signing of Cuban pitcher Yunesky Maya

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The Nationals will officially announce the signing of Cuban pitcher Yunesky Maya on Saturday, according to Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider.

We learned that the Nationals reached a preliminary agreement with the 28-year-old right-hander earlier this month.

According to what Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, it sounds like he’s not far away from making an impact in the major leagues.

“We think he’s capable of pitching in the major leagues very soon,”
Rizzo said. “You’ve got an accomplished, major league-ready caliber
pitcher that’s competed at the highest level.”

Maya was 48-29 with a 2.51 ERA over six seasons in Cuba and played in the World Baseball Classic in 2006 and 2009.

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.