Nationals castoff Roger Bernadina signs with Phillies

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This would have been a lot more fun before the Nationals-Phillies rivalry involved a pair of sub-.500 teams, but Roger Bernadina has signed with Philadelphia after being released by Washington.

Bernadina lost his spot on the Nationals’ bench following the trade for David DeJesus, but before struggling this season he’s generally been a decent fourth outfielder who can play all three outfield spots and be semi-useful offensively.

This year Bernadina hit just .178, but from 2010-2012 he batted .256 with a .703 OPS in 1,059 plate appearances. And if the Phillies like how he plays down the stretch he’ll be under team control via arbitration for next season.

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.