Ramon Hernandez pulled back off waivers

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According to SI.com’s Jon Heyman, catcher Ramon Hernandez was claimed off waivers and has since been pulled back by the Reds, making him ineligible to be traded.

Hernandez seemed like an obvious fit with either the Giants or Angels earlier this season, but the Reds weren’t willing to trade him prior to the July 31 deadline and there was little chance of a deal coming together this month.  Because Hernandez is earning just $3 million this year and projects as a Type A free agent, it’s doubtful that he even made it to the Giants on waivers.

With top prospect Devin Mesoraco on the way and a strong backup in Ryan Hanigan in the fold, the Reds seem unlikely to re-sign Hernandez this winter.  Still, they’re likely better off with two draft picks as compensation than with whatever return an August deal would have brought.

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.