The Phillies are “asking around” about Koji Uehara

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Random middle reliever rumors don’t exactly jazz me, but I like it when they remind me of fun things. So, from Rosenthal:

The Phillies, in their search for a setup man, are asking around about Rangers righty Koji Uehara, whose $4 million salary in 2013 might be more than Texas is willing to pay.

I like Uehara’s game and think he’d be a great guy for a team with bullpen issues like Philly to target. But I’m also reminded of the many yuks he provided when the Rangers considered trading him to the Blue Jays last February:

“The weather is an issue,” Uehara said. “I also know how hard it is to compete in that division.”

It’s pretty special when someone cites the weather as a problem when the team plays in a dome.  No word on whether Uehara has no-trade protection to Philly. Or what he thinks of the weather there.

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.