Nick Kingham will get another turn in Pirates’ rotation

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It turns out nearly tossing seven perfect innings in one’s major league debut earns one some leash. Pirates pitching prospect Nick Kingham was expected to simply make a spot start on Sunday against the Cardinals. However, he lost a bid for a perfect game with two outs in the seventh inning on Sunday when Paul DeJong singled to left field. He was lifted after seven, having thrown 98 pitches. The right-hander gave up just the one hit with no walks and nine strikeouts.

Kingham will get another turn in the Pirates’ rotation. He will start on Friday against the Brewers, per Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic. Manager Clint Hurdle said there are “no promises after that,” which, as Biertempfel notes, has to do with upcoming off days and the expected return of Joe Musgrove from the disabled list.

Kingham is the Pirates’ No. 12 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. The right-hander was expected to have made his major league debut a while ago, but was slowed by Tommy John surgery, which shortened his 2015-16 seasons.

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.