Ruben Amaro really liked Delmon Young

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Delmon Young was one of the easiest players to dislike in recent Philadelphia sports history. He had a memorable off-the-field incident involving alcohol and anti-Semitic remarks last year, he required weight clauses in his contract as incentive to stay in shape, he has been quite the unproductive player, and his arrival in Philadelphia was a direct result of GM Ruben Amaro’s decision to non-tender Nate Schierholtz, who eventually signed with the Cubs and had a great season.

Even after designating the outfielder for assignment, though, Amaro couldn’t help but praise Young:

Young’s clubhouse presence was incredibly useful on a team that was realistically out of playoff contention before the All-Star break and certainly after losing 13 of 15 games after the break. And Young is certainly better than his -1.2 WAR, via Baseball Reference, indicates. His WAR is a career-worst, exceeding last year’s 0.8 and ranks 606th out of 614 qualified position players in the National League.

The Delmon Young era ends in Philadelphia with the outfielder reaching four of six weight incentives at $100,000 each (via Matt Gelb), two roster time bonuses at $100,000 each (40 and 80 days), and one playing time bonus at $150,000 for reaching 250 plate appearances (he earned an immediate $250,000 for his first day on the active roster as well). All told, Young will get his $750,000 base salary plus an additional $900,000 in incentives.

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.