No, the Brewers are not gonna be a small-ball team now that Prince Fielder is gone

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Nyjer Morgan was asked how the Brewers are gonna do without Prince Fielder. This stuck out:

“It’s probably going to be a little more speedy this year,’’ Morgan said. “You can see that we’re going to have to rely on trying to steal bags and stuff like that, and not worrying about trying to hit those gaps all the time.

The Brewers led the NL in homers (and slugging percentage) last season. Prince Fielder hit 38 homers last year. The Brewers’ new third baseman, Aramis Ramirez, hit 26.  I know you can’t play simply swapsies with this sort of thing, but if you had swapped Fielder for Aramis Ramirez then, they still would have been tied for second in homers in the league.

Losing Prince Fielder is going to change some things for Milwaukee. But it’s not gonna transform the team from one that hits for power to the 1985 St. Louis Cardinals or something. Even if that would be better for Nyjer Morgan’s game.

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.