What’s on Tap: Previewing Tuesday’s action

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We’re back to a full panel of games on Tuesday evening after roughly half the league took Monday off. Tonight’s 8:15 PM EST game between the Cubs (Jason Hammel) and Cardinals (Jaime Garcia) is our highlight, not just because of some controversy over how the St. Louis crowd may or may not have treated ex-Cardinal and current Cub Jason Heyward, but because of the historic rivalry in general. Additionally, Garcia is coming off of a one-hit shutout against the Brewers, walking only one while striking out 13. It was overshadowed as Phillies starter Vincent Velasquez struck out 16 Padres on the same afternoon.

Garcia, 29, hasn’t made more than 20 starts in a season since 2011 as the lefty has battled injury after injury. He has started off the 2016 season strong and is hopefully behind the shoulder issues that have plagued him for years.

Hammel is no slouch. In two starts to begin the season, the right-hander has yielded just one run on eight hits and seven walks with nine strikeouts in 12 innings. While he’s probably not 0.75 ERA good, he’s a lot better than he’s given credit for being. Last season, Hammel set a new career-high with a 24.2 percent strikeout rate, and nearly matched his career-low walk rate of 5.5 percent.

The rest of Tuesday’s action…

Seattle Mariners (Wade Miley) @ Cleveland Indians (Carlos Carrasco), 6:10 PM EST

New York Mets (Logan Verrett) @ Philadelphia Phillies (Vince Velasquez), 7:05 PM EST

Oakland Athletics (Eric Surkamp) @ New York Yankees (Michael Pineda), 7:05 PM EST

Toronto Blue Jays (Marcus Stroman) @ Baltimore Orioles (Mike Wright), 7:05 PM EST

Colorado Rockies (Jorge De La Rosa) @ Cincinnati Reds (Robert Stephenson), 7:10 PM EST

Los Angeles Dodgers (Alex Wood) @ Atlanta Braves (Williams Perez), 7:10 PM EST

Tampa Bay Rays (Drew Smyly) @ Boston Red Sox (Joe Kelly), 7:10 PM EST

Washington Nationals (Stephen Strasburg) @ Miami Marlins (Adam Conley), 7:10 PM EST

Detroit Tigers (Shane Greene) @ Kansas City Royals (Yordano Ventura), 7:15 PM EST

Houston Astros (Scott Feldman) @ Texas Rangers (Derek Holland), 8:05 PM EST

Los Angeles Angels (Matt Shoemaker) @ Chicago White Sox (Mat Latos), 8:10 PM EST

Pittsburgh Pirates (Francisco Liriano) @ San Diego Padres (Colin Rea), 10:10 PM EST

Arizona Diamondbacks (Robbie Ray) @ San Francisco Giants (Matt Cain), 10:15 PM EST

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.