Slumping A-Rod dropped to 6th in Yankees’ struggling lineup

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NEW YORK (AP) Slumping Alex Rodriguez has been dropped three spots to sixth in the New York Yankees’ batting order.

Looking to spark his struggling lineup, manager Joe Girardi made the move for Sunday’s series finale against the Seattle Mariners as New York tried to stop a four-game losing streak.

The 40-year-old Rodriguez is hitless in his last 19 at-bats. A season after hitting 33 home runs, A-Rod is batting .100 (3 for 30) with one homer and two RBIs.

He is hardly the only Yankees hitter in a funk at the plate. New York was 0 for 24 with runners in scoring position during the first two games of the series, and 3 for 46 in those situations in its last five games overall.

Carlos Beltran, off to an excellent start, was moved up two spots to third. Scuffling third baseman Chase Headley was given a day off in favor of rookie Ronald Torreyes.

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.