Phillies GM Ruben Amaro apologized to Ryan Howard

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In December, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro publicly criticized first baseman Ryan Howard in an appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic back in December. Amaro said, “It would probably bode better for the organization not with him but without him. With that said if he’s with us, then we’ll work around him.”

Since then, Amaro has taken some heat for the comment as it’s not exactly a good look to go on the media circuit to trash a player who could potentially serve as a trade asset.

That chapter of the Ryan Howard book has ended, though, as Amaro has apologized to the slugger, Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News reports:

“Frankly, I apologized for those comments that I made that were public,” Amaro said. “And I think he appreciated that. Other than that, I want to keep the conversation private. It was a good talk.”

Howard, 35, is entering the fourth year of a five-year, $125 million contract extension signed back in April 2010. He’ll earn $25 million in both 2015 and ’16, and will receive another $10 million when the Phillies (or his eventual acquiring team) buy him out for $10 million for the 2017 season. Howard, who owns the Phillies’ single-season home run record with 58, batted a meager .223/.310/.380 last season but slugged 23 home runs and knocked in 95 runs.

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.