Phillies expected to hire Gabe Kapler as manager

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Gabe Kapler is likely to be the Phillies’ next manager, as the club is “focused” on him in their search. An announcement could come as early as Monday, according to Heyman.

Kapler, 42, spent parts of 12 years in the majors from 1998-2010 with the Red Sox, Rangers, Rays, Rockies, Tigers, and Brewers. After retiring following the 2006 season, he managed Single-A Greenville in the Red Sox system in 2007. He unretired, then retired again in 2011. Kapler served as an analyst for Fox Sports 1 in 2013, then joined the Dodgers’ front office into his current role as the director of player development.

Kapler is Sabermetrically-fluent, which meshes well with the Phillies’ relatively new analytics-focused front office. He’s also passionate about healthy lifestyles, having written about the topic on the Internet in recent years. One of his suggestions was to, uh, expose one’s testicles to ultraviolet rays.

He’s not without controversy, however. Kapler was involved in an issue of alleged discrimination with the Dodgers, as Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported earlier this year. Nick Francona, son of Indians manager Terry and an Afghanistan war veteran, alleged that the Dodgers pushed him out of the organization after he went to a Boston-area organization to seek treatment for “invisible wounds of war.” Francona wrote a letter to Major League Baseball about the issue and focused mainly on Kapler, who was then Francona’s direct superior. That issue appears to have been swept under the rug.

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.