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Report: Phillies OF Bryce Harper having UCL surgery, status for 2023 uncertain

We discuss the report that Bryce Harper will have UCL surgery and his status for next season is uncertain.

Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies reacts after striking out against the Houston Astros during the sixth inning in Game Six of the 2022 World Series at Minute Maid Park on November 05, 2022 in Houston, Texas. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Phillies are coming off a strong postseason playoff run that saw them play in the 2022 World Series. They came up just short, and they are, unfortunately, adding injury to insult. Star outfielder Bryce Harper is going to have surgery on his UCL in his elbow, and it puts his status for the 2023 in question.

Even if it does end up being Tommy John surgery, that doesn’t automatically rule Harper out for the entire 2023 season. This could be another scenario where he would benefit from the National League adopting the full-time DH. Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani had Tommy John surgery in the fall of 2018 and was able to DH for the Angels by early May of the next season. It could keep Harper out of the field, but unless there are major complications or set back, he should be able to at least appear in the Phillies lineup next season.

Harper dealt with injuries during the 2022 regular season and could only play in 99 games. He still hit .286 with 28 doubles and 18 home runs with 65 RBI. Harper was a stud in the postseason leading the team with a .349 batting average with seven doubles, six home runs and 13 RBI. He is a leader not only in the clubhouse but during games, and you can easily see a difference between the team when Harper is around versus when he isn’t.