NBC SportsTalk: The Montero-Pineda trade

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I was on NBC SportsTalk last night, talking with my buddy Russ Thaler about the Jesus Montero-Michael Pineda trade. Video below.  Watch for the moment when I called Jose Campos “that fireballer” because my brain locked and I was terrified that I was going to call him “Jorge Campos” and knew that wasn’t right but didn’t think fast enough to be certain.  Ah, live TV!

Not in the video: Russ and I talking beforehand about how that trade was not leaked at all by anyone and how the Yankees always seem to keep that kind of info under wraps. It’s uncanny.

My first theory: fear! They are the Evil Empire, after all, and maybe they have people randomly killed if they leak stuff to the press.  More likely: decision making is done by a really small group of people in the Bronx, and there thus aren’t a lot of assistant GMs and secretaries to the whoever floating around important phone calls, thereby preventing leaks.

Eh, it’s a theory.

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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.