Shohei Ohtani gives bat to kid, hits triple with different one

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Yesterday, after Angels batting practice, a six-year-old kid asked Shohei Ohtani for his bat. Ohtani did what most players would do in that situation: he laughed, signed some autographs, but held on to his bat and then left.

But then a few minutes later he came back to where the kid was and handed him a bat. An official Shohei Ohtani model, with his name on it in Kanji. Ohtani later told an MLB.com reporter, through his interpreter, “Hopefully he can swing with that and become a good player one day, but I can’t be doing this all the time. I’ll run out of bats.”

Here’s the request:

Ohtani had at least one more bat in his bag, of course, and he used it to DH in last night’s game against the Royals. In the seventh inning the Angels broke the game wide open, thanks in part to Ohtani’s bases-clearing triple:

The season is 14-games old, yet Ohtani’s legend is already substantial and continues to grow.

 

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.