Neck injury could force Casey Blake into retirement

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Casey Blake’s latest injury is a pinched nerve in his neck, which has caused him to miss four straight games, and the 37-year-old is thinking ahead to how it could impact his health long after retiring from baseball.

“Obviously, this neck thing is pretty serious,” Blake told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. “I want to be able to move my neck when I’m 50.

Blake has played just 58 of 126 games this season, posting a career-worst .704 OPS and spending three different stints on the disabled list.

He’ll be a free agent this offseason once the Dodgers decline their $6 million team option and Hernandez reports that Blake may be reconsidering retirement after previously saying he planned to play somewhere in 2012 because “doctors have warned him that his condition could worsen if he continues to play.”

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.