Phillies pitching prospect Jake Thompson to make MLB debut on Saturday

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With Aaron Nola on the disabled list, the Phillies will call up pitching prospect Jake Thompson to make his major league debut on Saturday against the Padres, CSN Philly reports.

Thompson, 22, was acquired from the Rangers along with five other players in the Cole Hamels trade last summer. MLB Pipeline ranked him as the Phillies’ fifth-best prospect. According to the scout reports, Thompson possesses four pitches that figure to be average or better in the big leagues: a fastball that can hit the mid-90’s, as well as a slider, a curve, and a change-up.

In 129 2/3 innings with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, Thompson has put up a 2.50 ERA with an 87/37 K/BB ratio in 129 2/3 innings. He has been particularly dominant since the beginning of June, posting a 1.21 ERA and a 42/18 K/BB ratio in 74 1/3 innings across his last 11 starts.

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.