Kevin Correia continues April magic

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Twins right-hander Kevin Correia shut out the Rangers over eight innings this afternoon, scattering six hits (all singles) and one walk while striking out two. His ERA after five starts rests at 2.23, a stunning statistic for the veteran with a career 4.50 ERA. Correia has gone at least seven innings in all five of his starts and has walked exactly one in all five as well. The Twins, right now, are quite happy they plucked him out of the free agent pool with a two-year, $10 million contract.

For some as yet unexplained reason,  though, Correia has pitched like an ace in April in recent years, but quickly turned back into a pumpkin once the calendar turned to May. Consider his monthly ERA dating back to 2010:

April May June July August Sept/Oct
2010 3.86 5.22 7.83 3.90 7.20 1.91
2011 2.90 4.15 4.46 6.08 8.41
2012 2.42 5.70 4.36 5.04 4.01 3.50
2013 2.23

Is this the year Correia bucks the trend? The Twins have won in four of his five starts and are now a game over .500. With a good Correia, the Twins — currently with two starters with an ERA north of 6.00, and two others north of 4.00 — aren’t as much of an afterthought in the AL Central.

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.