Giancarlo Stanton’s struggles continue, strikes out five times in Yankees’ loss to Orioles

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The Giancarlo Stanton era in the Bronx started off well, as he hit a pair of homers on Opening Day against the Blue Jays. In the eight games since, he’s batting a meager .133 with one other homer and 14 strikeouts in 36 plate appearances.

Things did not improve on Sunday afternoon against the Orioles. The Yankees lost 8-7 in 12 innings. Stanton finished 0-for-7 with five strikeouts, dropping his batting average to .167 on the season. He’s now up to 20 strikeouts in 48 plate appearances, good for a 41.7 percent strikeout rate. The only batters who have struck out at a higher rate thus far are Ian Happ, C.J. Cron, Miguel Sano, and Paul DeJong.

Stanton also struck out five times in the Yankees’ 11-4 win over the Rays last Tuesday. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Stanton is the first player in the live ball era to have two games with zero hits and five strikeouts in the same season.

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.