Angels optimistic Erick Aybar will avoid the disabled list

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Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that Erick Aybar “did agility drills and rode an exercise bike for about 20 minutes” today and “the Angels are confident the shortstop won’t need to go on the disabled list.”
Aybar appeared to have suffered a major leg injury when Casey McGehee slid into him while breaking up a double play Monday night, saying later that he was “scared that day … I thought I was hurt bad when it happened.”
However, an MRI exam revealed merely a hyper-extended knee and Mike Scioscia said today that “he’s feeling a lot better.” Incidentally, while he hasn’t watched the replay of McGehee’s slide, Aybar said he “had no problem with it” because “he was trying to take me out and slid hard, I was trying to catch the ball.”
Maicer Izturis initially stepped in for Aybar at shortstop, but now that he’s also injured Brandon Wood is starting there this afternoon for the second straight game. Wood played shortstop extensively in the minors before shifting primarily to third base last season and at this point his bat is a much bigger question mark than his glove.

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.