Orioles will be forced to make decision on Freddy Garcia soon

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MASN’s Roch Kubatko notes that Freddy Garcia may opt out of his contract with the Orioles after he makes his next start with Triple-A Norfolk, meaning the team will soon be forced to make a decision about the right-hander. The 36-year-old currently has a 2.61 ERA in 25.2 innings with a cool 16-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

The Orioles demoted Jake Arrieta after his April 21 start, his fourth, left his ERA at an unsightly 6.63. However, he tossed six scoreless innings with Norfolk in his most recent start and will be the team’s main consideration in making a decision on Garcia’s future. Josh Stinson was promoted in Arrieta’s absence, but he got hit around by the Blue Jays and was immediately sent back down to Norfolk.

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.