Report: MLB investigating abuse allegations against Derek Norris by his ex-fiancée

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that Major League Baseball is investigating abuse allegations against Rays catcher Derek Norris made by his ex-fiancée, Kristen Eck, in an Instagram post. As Crasnick notes, Eck didn’t refer to him by name, but she did an interview with MLB Network two years ago in which she was identified as his fiancée.

In the post, Eck wrote that she “was physically and emotionally abused by this beautiful man.” Later on in the post, she wrote, “When I left, he and his family made sure I had nothing.”

Norris, 28, signed a one-year, $1.2 million contract with the Rays near the end of spring training. So far this season, he has hit a poor .194/.256/.326 in 160 plate appearances.

Commissioner Rob Manfred has increased punishment for players alleged of domestic abuse. Last year, former Braves outfielder Hector Olivera was suspended 82 games, then-Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes got a 52-game suspension, and Aroldis Chapman got 30 games. Jeurys Familia served a 15-game suspension to start the 2017 season for his incident earlier this year. Punishments levied by Major League Baseball are not dependent on a criminal conviction.

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.