Will Middlebrooks has been on fire since rejoining Red Sox

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When the Red Sox demoted Will Middlebrooks to Triple-A on June 25 he was hitting .193 in 53 games and he wasn’t particularly great for Pawtucket, hitting .268 with 10 homers and a .790 OPS in 45 games.

However, after trading Jose Iglesias in the deal for Jake Peavy the Red Sox recalled Middlebrooks from the minors and he’s been on fire since. Middlebrooks homered yesterday against the Giants, making him 15-for-34 (.441) with two homers and three doubles in 11 games since the recall.

His season totals are going to look ugly no matter what because of his terrible first half, but Middlebrooks getting back to the productive, power-hitting third baseman he was as a rookie last season would be huge for the Red Sox down the stretch.

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.