Frank Catalanotto retires

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It’s not exactly major news, but Frank Catalanotto has announced his retirement.

When last we heard from him he was being designated for assignment by the Mets to make room for Chris Carter after 25 dismal games last spring. But before that Catalanotto was the kind of player it was hard not to root for.  He played everywhere — left, right, first base, second base and third base — he got on base at a really darn healthy clip, hit left handed and was never terribly expensive.  Not quite good enough to demand a set place in the lineup 160 games a year but far better than your average platoon or utility guy, Catalanotto was totally the kind of complementary player who could help out a championship team.

Of course he never actually played on a championship team, but that’s neither here nor there. What is here and there was that guys with Catalanotto’s skills are kind of fun to have around, and it’s quite remarkable when they hang in the game for as long as Catalanotto actually did.

Enjoy retirement, Frank!

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.