Phillies will stretch Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez out as a starter in spring training

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Phillies pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, currently contributing out of the bullpen, will be stretched out as a starter in spring training next year, Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports. Gonzalez and the Phillies agreed to a three-year, $12 million contract in August last year after the right-hander defected from Cuba. Gonzalez’s Phillies career got off to a rocky start as he suffered from inflammation in his right shoulder, delaying his professional debut until mid-May.

The Phillies lack starting pitching depth, as Kyle Kendrick is soon to be a free agent, Cole Hamels could be dealt, A.J. Burnett could retire, and Cliff Lee’s health is still a question mark.

Gonzalez has logged only 4 1/3 innings in the majors thus far, but he’s had poor results, posting an 8.31 ERA with a 4/3 K/BB ratio. In the minor leagues, he progressed from Single-A Clearwater to Double-A Reading to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, compiling 46 1/3 innings in total. Across all three levels, he had a 3.11 ERA with a 54/26 K/BB ratio.

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.