Willie Calhoun benched in Triple-A for not running out a ground ball

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Willie Calhoun is the Texas Rangers’ top prospect and one of the more well-regarded hitting prospects in baseball. It would seem, however, that we still have some time before we’ll see him in the big leagues on a permanent basis. At least based on what happened over the weekend.

Calhoun was pulled from a game at Triple-A Round Rock on Sunday for failing to run hard on a grounder. Later, Rangers big league manager Jeff Banister said this in response: “Play hard … run down the line hard. It’s the effort you’re giving your teammates. Once the bat leaves your hands, you’re working for your teammates. That’s the identity you want to have in your organization.” So, yes, it sounds like the whole organization is on board with that benching.

As it is, Calhoun, who had a cup of coffee with the Rangers after coming over from the Dodgers organization in the Yu Darvish trade, has been underwhelming in the minors this year, hitting .270/.332/.393 and four homers through 51 games. It’s suspected he’ll always be a defensive liability, but the Rangers had earlier said they’d give him time to work on that at the big league level. Given that the Rangers aren’t really going anywhere this year, they may be content to let him work on it in Round Rock.

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.