Mariners reliever Chasen Bradford is slated to miss the bulk of the 2020 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery last Thursday, per reports from Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times and MLB.com’s Greg Johns. The news isn’t entirely unexpected, as Bradford had been sidelined since early June with a Grade 1 flexor strain in his right elbow.
Given the lengthy recovery time that typically follows Tommy John surgery, it’s doubtful that Bradford will pitch at all next year, though he’ll likely make it back to the mound in time for spring training in 2021. The 30-year-old righty will be arbitration-eligible in 2021 and is not slated to hit free agency until 2024.
This appears to be the first significant setback of Bradford’s three-year career in the majors to date. He made just 12 appearances for the team in 2019, recording one save with a 4.86 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, and 5.9 SO/9 across 16 2/3 innings of relief.
Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.
Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.
Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”
Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.
Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.