Bobby Valentine: Mike Aviles has the “DNA” of an everyday shortstop

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It’s not clear who will get the most reps at short in Boston this year. But yesterday Reds Sox’ manager Bobby Valentine said that Mike Aviles has the “DNA” of an everyday shortstop.

Fact: Mike Aviles was born in New York City in the spring of 1981.  Fact: the “everyday shortstop” of the Yankees at the time of Aviles’ conception was Bucky Dent.

Theory: If Aviles has the DNA of an everyday shortstop, that must mean* that Bucky Dent is his real father, and Aviles has now been delivered to Boston as part of a generations-spanning plot by Bucky Dent to punish the Red Sox even further than he already has.

Unless of course he plays really well, in which case it is Bucky Dent making amends with Red Sox fans for that home run he hit in 1978.

Or it’s possible that Aviles is actually the son of Frank Taveras, who started 141 games at short for the Mets in 1980.  But such speculation would be silly.

 

*Note: it must not mean any of this actually.

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.