What’s on Tap: Previewing Monday’s action

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Mat Latos will make his first start as a member of the Nationals on Monday night, opposing the Mets’ Rafael Montero in a 7:05 PM game at Nationals Park.

All things considered, the 2016 season worked out for Latos. He was on the White Sox, who were expected to be more competitive than they turned out to be, and the right-hander worked up a measly 4.62 ERA over 11 starts. The club released him in mid-June, allowing him to sign with the Nationals by the end of the month. The White Sox are 68-74 in fourth place in the AL Central and the Nationals have a healthy nine-game lead over the Mets in the NL East.

Latos has made two appearances for the Nationals thus far. In his debut with the team, he went two innings against the Mets and gave up two runs, both on a Jay Bruce home run. He got one out in the 11th inning on Wednesday, his most recent appearance.

The Latos start itself doesn’t figure to be appointment television, but the season he has had is fascinating. He might end up with a World Series ring at the end of it.

The rest of Monday’s action…

Los Angeles Dodgers (Jose De Leon) @ New York Yankees (Bryan Mitchell), 7:05 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Pirates (Gerrit Cole) @ Philadelphia Phillies (Jeremy Hellickson), 7:05 PM EDT

Tampa Bay Rays (Jake Odorizzi) @ Toronto Blue Jays (Francisco Liriano), 7:07 PM EDT

Baltimore Orioles (Wade Miley) @ Boston Red Sox (David Price), 7:10 PM EDT

Miami Marlins (Andrew Cashner) @ Atlanta Braves (Mike Foltynewicz), 7:10 PM EDT

Milwaukee Brewers (Wily Peralta) @ Cincinnati Reds (Keyvius Sampson), 7:10 PM EDT

Minnesota Twins (Ervin Santana) @ Detroit Tigers (Daniel Norris), 7:10 PM EDT

Oakland Athletics (Ross Detwiler) @ Kansas City Royals (Dillon Gee), 7:15 PM EDT

Cleveland Indians (Carlos Carrasco) @ Chicago White Sox (Miguel Gonzalez), 8:10 PM EDT

Texas Rangers (Martin Perez) @ Houston Astros (Doug Fister), 8:10 PM EDT

Chicago Cubs (Kyle Hendricks) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Mike Leake), 8:15 PM EDT

Colorado Rockies (Tyler Anderson) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (Shelby Miller), 9:40 PM EDT

Seattle Mariners (Ariel Miranda) @ Los Angeles Angels (Ricky Nolasco), 10:05 PM EDT

San Diego Padres (Paul Clemens) @ San Francisco Giants (Jeff Samardzija), 10:15 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.