Carlos Zambrano says he wants to make comeback

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It was over four years ago the last time we heard from Carlos Zambrano. At that time it had been two years since he had last pitched, he had ditched a comeback attempt and said he was happily retired and at peace without baseball in his life.

Things change. Flash forward to 2018 and his agent, Barry Praver, tells Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune that Big Z would like to pitch in the major leagues again. Which, hey, OK!

It’s not at all likely to happen, however. He has reportedly lost 30 pounds since his big league days and is pitching in the Venezuelan winter league after pitching in the Mexican League earlier this year, but his results have been fairly terrible. Between that, a six-year big league layoff and the fact that, when he was in the bigs, he ticked off basically everyone he ever encountered, the odds of anyone giving him a chance are beyond slim. Indeed, I’d say zero.

The crazy thing about it is that Zambrano is still only 37 years-old. That makes him younger than Rich Hill. Younger than Adrian Beltre, Fernando Rodney, Ben Zobrist and, if my cursory look is correct, about 31 other players who were active in 2018. Still, heavy workloads early in Zambrano’s career caught up to him, as he failed to crack 200 innings after age 26, ceased being an effective pitcher at age 29, and last appeared in the majors at age 31.

Still: he earned nearly $115 million for his career and made three All-Star games, posting a 3.66 ERA in 1,959 innings. He may not have a comeback in him, but he did OK for himself before he left.

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.