Barry Zito plus Coors Field equals …

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Last week I wrote about how Barry Zito trying to save his rotation spot with a start at Coors Field seemed like it was bound to fail and sure enough he failed to make it out of the fifth inning last night against the Rockies.

Zito allowed five runs in four innings, serving up a pair of homers, and dropped to a remarkable 0-8 with a 9.25 ERA on the road this season.

It seems like a distant memory now, but last year the Giants won Zito’s last 14 starts including the postseason. This year they’re 9-14 when he starts and Zito is 0-7 with a 7.78 ERA in 61 innings since June 1, allowing opponents to hit .355 with 14 homers and a .592 slugging percentage during that time.

The only question remaining is whether the Giants will let him continue to take the mound every fifth day for the final month, because there’s obviously no doubt that they’ll decline the $18 million option on his contract for next season and give him an $8 million buyout instead. For their $126 million investment in Zito the Giants have gotten a 51-66 record and 4.64 ERA in 933 innings.

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.