Felipe Rivero legally changes last name to Vázquez

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Pirates reliever Felipe Rivero has legally changed his last name to Vázquez, Elizabeth Bloom of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Vázquez will soon have his jerseys updated with his new surname.

Vázquez didn’t have to, but he apologized to fans who bought merchandise with his former last name:

Vázquez is the surname of Felipe’s sister Prescilla with whom he is very close. Prescilla has advised Felipe on a number of baseball-related matters, including advising him to change agents and being the primary negotiator of his recent contract extension with the Pirates.

Vázquez, 26, ranked among the game’s best relievers last season, saving 21 games with a 1.67 ERA and an 88/20 K/BB ratio in 75 1/3 innings. His numbers to begin the 2018 season aren’t great, but stem solely from an ugly Opening Day appearance against the Tigers in which he gave up four runs and recorded only two outs.

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.