Rockies turn to prospects Alex White, Christian Friedrich amid rotation struggles

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Colorado’s starting pitchers have combined for an NL-worst 5.75 ERA, so the Rockies are calling up a pair of prospects to join the rotation.

Alex White, who was acquired from the Indians along with Drew Pomeranz in the Ubaldo Jimenez trade last season, will start tonight. Christian Friedrich, who was the 25th overall pick in the 2008 draft, will make his big-league debut tomorrow night.

White got knocked around in his first taste of the majors last season, posting a 7.01 ERA while serving up 15 homers in 51 innings, but the 23-year-old right-hander’s numbers in the minors have consistently been very impressive. He’s posted a sub-3.00 ERA at every stop, including a 2.42 ERA and 49/13 K/BB ratio with just one homer allowed in nine starts at Triple-A.

Friedrich’s minor-league numbers aren’t so pretty, as his ERA was above 5.00 both last season and in 2010, but his secondary numbers have remained strong and the 24-year-old left-hander posted a 3.00 ERA and 27/4 K/BB ratio in 30 innings at Triple-A to earn the call-up.

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.