What’s on Tap: Previewing Tuesday’s Action

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Indians starter Corey Kluber takes the hill tonight against the Astros, opposing right-hander Brad Peacock in a 7:10 PM EDT start at Progressive Field.

Kluber, 30, had an inconsistent first half of the season, entering the All-Star break with a 3.61 ERA. Though he won the 2014 American League Cy Young Award, he was maddeningly inconsistent last year, finishing with a 9-16 record and a 3.49 ERA, and it appeared to be more of the same through the first half of 2016.

Since the All-Star break, however, Kluber has been lights out. In his last nine starts, he has a 2.04 ERA with a 67/19 K/BB ratio in 61 2/3 innings. He now finds himself fourth in the AL in ERA at 3.09, behind only Aaron Sanchez (2.88), Jose Quintana (3.05), and Chris Sale (3.07). He’s right in the thick of things, potentially earning himself another Cy Young Award. Furthermore, Kluber has been the anchor of a faltering Indians rotation, which has a 4.58 ERA since the break. To name names, Danny Salazar has a 7.53 ERA since the break and Josh Tomlin has a 7.80 second-half ERA as well.

Kluber’s doing it in the middle of a pennant chase, too. The 79-57 Indians are 4.5 games up on the Tigers and 8.5 games up on the Royals in the AL Central. The Indians haven’t won the division since 2007 and haven’t been in the playoffs since 2013, when they lost the AL Wild Card play-in game to the Rays.

Kluber is on track to make six starts between tonight and the end of the regular season. Needless to say, they will all be important.

The rest of Tuesday’s action…

Atlanta Braves (Williams Perez) @ Washington Nationals (Gio Gonzalez), 7:05 PM EDT

St. Louis Cardinals (Luke Weaver) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (Ryan Vogelsong), 7:05 PM EDT

Toronto Blue Jays (Aaron Sanchez) @ New York Yankees (Luis Cessa), 7:05 PM EDT

Baltimore Orioles (Yovani Gallardo) @ Tampa Bay Rays (Jake Odorizzi), 7:10 PM EDT

New York Mets (Rafael Montero) @ Cincinnati Reds (Brandon Finnegan), 7:10 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies (Adam Morgan) @ Miami Marlins (Jose Urena), 7:10 PM EDT

Chicago Cubs (Jason Hammel) @ Milwaukee Brewers (Wily Peralta), 8:10 PM EDT

Detroit Tigers (Matt Boyd) @ Chicago White Sox (Miguel Gonzalez), 8:10 PM EDT

Kansas City Royals (Dillon Gee) @ Minnesota Twins (Ervin Santana), 8:10 PM EDT

San Francisco Giants (Jeff Samardzija) @ Colorado Rockies (Tyler Anderson), 8:40 PM EDT

Los Angeles Angels (Ricky Nolasco) @ Oakland Athletics (Zach Neal), 10:05 PM EDT

Arizona Diamondbacks (Shelby Miller) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (Ross Stripling), 10:10 PM EDT

Boston Red Sox (Clay Buchholz) @ San Diego Padres (Paul Clemens), 10:10 PM EDT

Texas Rangers (Martin Perez) @ Seattle Mariners (James Paxton), 10:10 PM EDT

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.