Jacob deGrom leaves start early, but not for the joyous reason you were thinking

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This morning we learned that Jacob deGrom was prepared to leave today’s Mets home opener early because his wife is due to have their baby at any minute and might have to split. Well, deGrom left early. Unfortunately it was not because of joyous good news. Rather, he left after six innings due to back tightness.

It sounds like it was a precautionary thing and it’s not as if he was going to go more than another inning at most in his first outing of the year. As it was, the results were good: one run over his six six innings with six strikeouts. His velocity, however, was a tad concerning, with deGrom sitting in the 91-93 m.p.h. range with his fastball. That’s what he was doing at Port St. Lucie, but it’s below his norms. Probably not a thing to get worked up over — early season, cold weather starts aren’t always a great indicator of how a pitcher is doing — but it’s worth making a mental note.

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.