Royals release Seth Maness

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Jon Heyman reports that the Royals have released pitcher Seth Maness from his minor-league deal per his request. Maness wants to look for a chance to start with another organization.

Maness was a heavily-used reliever for four years with the Cardinals before injuring his elbow. Most pitchers would need Tommy John surgery but Maness underwent something called “primary repair surgery,” which has been billed as an alternative to Tommy John surgery that involves “repair and buttressing” of the existing ligament at the bone as opposed to reconstruction of the ligament. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch explained the procedure and Maness’ recovery from it in January of last year.

Maness came back from that procedure a mere nine months after surgery, which is a good 3-4 months quicker than Tommy John surgery recipients. Unfortunately, he has not had great results in that time.

He pitched eight games for the Royals last year with a decent ERA but with far worse peripheral stats. In the minors since his return he has been similarly ineffective. The Royals gave him one start at Omaha this year and he reportedly would like to work as a starter elsewhere. He has not started regularly since 2012, when he did so in 27 games at A-ball and Double-A.

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.