Michael Fulmer named 2016 American League Rookie of the Year

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The Baseball Writers Association of America announced on Monday that Tigers starter Michael Fulmer is the 2016 American League Rookie of the Year. He’s the first Tiger to win the award since Justin Verlander in 2006. He’s the first starting pitcher to win the award in the AL since Jeremy Hellickson in 2011 with the Rays.

Fulmer, 23, went 11-7 with a 3.06 ERA and a 132/42 K/BB ratio over 159 innings for the Tigers. He and Verlander anchored an otherwise uninspiring starting rotation.

Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez impressed in the final two months of the season, putting up a 1.032 OPS with 20 homers in 53 games. However, voters likely thought that Fulmer’s effort over a full season was more impressive than Sanchez’s over one-third of a season.

Fulmer was named first in 26 of 30 ballots with Sanchez taking the other four. Indians outfielder Tyler Naquin finished in third place followed by Astros reliever Chris Devenski, Mariners reliever Edwin Diaz, Rangers outfielder Nomar Mazara, and White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson.

Astros shortstop Carlos Correa won the AL ROY last year.

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.