Kenta Maeda dominates Padres with career-high 13 K’s

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Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda blew past his previous career-high of nine strikeouts, striking out 13 Padres in a win on Sunday afternoon. The right-hander gave up only one run, on a fifth-inning home run by Derek Norris. That was one of two hits he yielded while walking none along with the 13 punch-outs across seven innings.

Maeda, now with 18 major league starts under his belt, set his previous career-high on June 8 against the Rockies. He currently owns a 2.95 ERA with a 107/31 K/BB ratio in 103 2/3 innings.

The Dodgers signed Maeda to an eight-year, $25 million contract back in January, paying him $3 million annually. The deal came with a bunch of performance incentives based on games started and innings pitched. Maeda can earn an extra $6.5 million by reaching 32 games started by season’s end, as well as $3.5 million if he reaches 200 innings. He’ll need to average 6 1/3 innings per start to reach 200 innings, but he’s currently averaging 5 2/3.

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.