Christian Yelich continues homer rampage vs. Cardinals

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Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich continued to terrorize Cardinals pitching on Tuesday, belting a three-run home run off of Ryan Helsley in the fifth inning, upping the lead to 8-0. Yelich also hit three homers against the Cardinals on Monday and now has nine dingers on the season. Of those nine homers, eight have come against Cardinals pitching. He has homered in all five games against them this season.

The Brewers opened the season with a four-game set at home against the Red Birds, spanning March 28-31, and Yelich homered in each of them. Yelich then went homerless until going deep in the series finale against the Cubs on April 7. Yelich went homerless for another week before the Brewers opened up their three-game set against the Cardinals yesterday.

Could Yelich be even better than he was last year, when he won NL MVP? In 2018, he hit .326/.402/.598 with 36 home runs, 110 RBI, 118 runs scored, and 22 stolen bases in 651 plate appearances. Entering Tuesday’s action, he was hitting .354/.449/.785 on the season with eight homers, 22 RBI, 17 runs scored, and three stolen bases in 78 plate appearances.

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.