Steven Souza Jr., known for catch to preserve no-hitter, is retiring

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SEATTLE — Outfielder Steven Souza Jr. has announced his retirement after playing parts of eight major league seasons.

Known best for his spectacular diving catch to preserve Jordan Zimmermann’s no-hitter eight years ago as a rookie, Souza said Tuesday on Twitter he is calling it a career. He appeared in six games earlier this season with the Seattle Mariners at age 33, going 3 for 19 at the plate.

Souza played 515 regular-season and playoff games with the Washington Nationals, Tampa Bay Rays, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and Mariners since making his debut in 2014.

“It’s been an incredible journey that I dreamed as a kid I would be able to go on,” Souza said in his Twitter post. “I want to give a special thanks to my wife and my family for supporting me during this amazing journey. Without your love and support, I never would have made it out of the (Gulf Coast League).”

Souza was a third-round pick of the Nationals in 2007. During his career, he was involved in a three-way trade twice: the 2014 deal that sent Trea Turner from the Padres to Washington and Wil Myers to San Diego, and one four years later that moved Brandon Drury to the New York Yankees.

The Everett, Washington, native hit .229 with 72 home runs and 207 RBIs in the regular season. He played 10 games on the Dodgers run to the NL Championship Series in 2021.

“I want to share my experiences and my love for the greatest game in the world with those who strive to (do) what I did,” he tweeted. “Here’s to the next chapter.”

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.