Corey Knebel to undergo Tommy John surgery

Corey Knebel
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Last week, Brewers closer Corey Knebel elicited some concern when it was revealed that he was dealing with a UCL issue in his right elbow. Today, the news is worse: According to a personal pregame announcement, Knebel is set to miss the entire 2019 season after he undergoes Tommy John surgery next Wednesday.

Per MLB.com’s Matt Kelly, Knebel admitted that he had been dealing with lingering elbow soreness since 2014, right around the time that he was toiling in Triple-A Round Rock with the Rangers. He elected to undergo the procedure in hopes of returning to the ‘pen by 2020, though it’s still unclear whether or not he’ll be able to make a full recovery by that point.

The 27-year-old righty did not appear during the Brewers’ 5-4 season opener against the Cardinals on Thursday. He pitched just 5 2/3 innings in Cactus League competition, allowing two hits and two walks and striking out six of 20 batters faced. While he’s still two years removed from the career-high numbers he posted with Milwaukee in 2017, he turned in 16 saves with a serviceable 3.58 ERA, 3.6 BB/9, 14.3 SO/9, and 1.0 fWAR through 55 1/3 frames in 2018.

The Brewers, meanwhile, have yet to announce an official replacement for Knebel at the back end of the bullpen. While both the Brewers and Braves have been continuously linked to free agent closer Craig Kimbrel this spring, it doesn’t look as if either team is particularly close to striking a deal with the right-hander just yet.

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.