Carson Smith says his shoulder injury was somewhat due to overuse. Alex Cora disagrees.

Tim Bradbury/Getty Images
17 Comments

On Tuesday, a frustrated Carson Smith threw his glove in the dugout after an inning in which he gave up a solo home run to Khris Davis, which turned out to be the game-winning run. Smith injured his shoulder in the process, suffering a right shoulder subluxation.

As Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reports, Smith took responsibility for his injury and said he regretted throwing his glove in anger. Smith also said his shoulder was already not 100 percent as a result of overuse. He said, “I think my shoulder’s tired in general, just from pitching. I’ve thrown a lot lately and I think my arm was just tired.”

Smith, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2016, made 18 appearances entering Wednesday’s action. He appeared in 11 of his team’s 29 games in March and April, and appeared in seven of 14 games this month. He pitched on back-to-back days twice this month, May 8-9 and 11-12. He has thrown more than 15 pitches in two of those seven appearances: 19 pitches on May 1 and 20 pitches on May 11.

The data seems to disagree with Smith. Manger Alex Cora disagrees as well. He said, “I don’t agree with it. On a daily basis we talk to pitchers and how they feel. If they don’t think they can pitch that day, we stay away from them.” He added, “It caught me by surprise. If he felt that way he should’ve told it to us or he should’ve mentioned it.”

Providing more detail, Cora said, “All the relievers, we talk to them on a daily basis, ‘Where you guys at?’ And we have information too, but their input is very important to our decision making and there’s been some days that he felt he wasn’t available and there’s others that he was available.”

As Mastrodonato points out, Smith said he was unavailable to pitch one day during the club’s recent road series against the Yankees, May 8-10. He was not used on the 10th. As mentioned, he had pitched on back-to-back days.

It’s difficult to take Smith’s side here, though he may be operating with a much different definition of throwing “a lot lately” than the rest of us.

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

Getty Images
2 Comments

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.