Athletics still see Bruce Maxwell as the starting catcher

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Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell has made a lot of headlines lately, both for good reasons and for bad reasons. The good: In September, he became the first Major League Baseball player to protest police violence against people of color by kneeling for the national anthem. The bad: Allegedly, Maxwell was inebriated and pulled a gun on a food delivery person last month.

The Athletics still see Maxwell as the club’s starting catcher, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reported recently. Maxwell pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to appear in court on December 28 for a pretrial hearing.

GM David Forst said, “I don’t want to talk about the off-field stuff right now. We’ll let the criminal proceedings play out. But from a baseball standpoint, I expect Bruce to be our catcher next year.”

Maxwell, 26, hit .237/.329/.333 with three home runs, 22 RBI, and 21 runs scored in 253 plate appearances last season. He got the majority of starts behind the plate once the Brewers claimed Stephen Vogt off waivers from the A’s in late June.

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.