Lance Lynn continues to struggle for Twins

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It was a travesty this offseason when starter Lance Lynn went — like many other free agents — jobless until late into the winter and early spring. Lynn ended up settling for a one-year, $12 million contract with the Twins. He just turned 31 and underwent Tommy John surgery in late 2015 but had been a reliable starter his entire career and put up strong numbers in his return last year.

Unfortunately for the Twins, Lynn has been abysmal this season. Facing his former team on Wednesday afternoon, Lynn gave up three runs to the Cardinals on four hits and four walks with five strikeouts in three innings. He now owns a 7.47 ERA with a 41/29 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings.

Lynn has lasted fewer than five innings in half of his eight starts. He has allowed five or more runs in half of those starts. His ERA is fifth-worst in baseball (min. 30 innings) behind only Josh Tomlin (8.10), Matt Moore (8.03), Marcus Stroman (7.71), and Kendall Graveman (7.60). Lynn’s average of only 1.41 strikeouts for every walk is eighth-worst in baseball. According to FanGraphs, only 17 pitchers have given up more hard contact than Lynn (40.8%) and only nine have given up more home runs as a percentage of fly balls (20.0%). Any way you slice it, it’s been an awful year so far for Lynn.

The AL Central is baseball’s worst division with the Indians leading the way at 21-21. The Twins hold second place with an 18-21 record. Getting Lynn to right his ship would go along way towards giving the Twins a leg up in a wide open division.

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.