Phillies call up top prospect Maikel Franco from Triple-A

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The Phillies announced their September call-ups following their no-hitter of the Braves this afternoon, which most notably included the promotion of top prospect Maikel Franco from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Franco was ranked as the game’s No. 22 prospect Baseball America coming into the season, but he batted just .209 with five home runs and a .585 OPS through his first 78 games. However, as Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com noted in July, he saw a turnaround following a visit from former Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. The 22-year-old hit .324 with 11 homers and a .922 OPS from July-August and wrapped up his season today by going 1-for-3 with a double.

Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg recently told Todd Zolecki of MLB.com that they won’t try Cody Asche in the outfield this month, so Franco figures to see part-time duty between third base and first base this month. He could make his major league debut tomorrow with left-hander Mike Minor on the hill for Atlanta.

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.