Matt Garza refused to pitch out of Brewers’ bullpen

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It was announced Saturday that the Brewers were shutting down Matt Garza and his 5.63 ERA for the remainder of the 2015 season. The right-hander got hammered for five runs on seven hits and four walks in the first half of a doubleheader Saturday afternoon against the Reds and Brewers manager Craig Counsell said after the game that he “wanted to look at other options” in his rotation down the stretch.

Fair enough, but now comes word from MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy that the Brewers asked Garza to pitch out of the bullpen for the final three weeks of the regular season and he flat out refused.

That doesn’t seem to be sitting well with Milwaukee’s higher-ups: “We’re just moving forward,” Counsell told MLB.com before Sunday’s series finale against the Reds. “We’ve got a game today. We’re getting ready for that game. That’s how I’m moving forward with it.”

The Brewers have to operate carefully here because Garza is signed through 2017 and still owed more than $25 million, but they have a right to be upset. The 31-year-old is making $12.5 million this season and hasn’t been good enough to hold his rotation spot. He should probably pitch in long relief if the team wants him to pitch in long relief.

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.