Tigers interested in Boston's Mike Lowell

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Joe McDonald of ESPN Boston reports that the Tigers have begun making a push for Red Sox infielder Mike Lowell.

The Tigers lost starting third baseman Brandon Inge to a fractured left hand on Tuesday and Magglio Ordonez to a fractured ankle on Saturday night.  Lowell, despite his fair share of injury concerns, will bring some much-needed pop to the Detroit lineup.  The 36-year-old hit .290/.337/.474 with 17 home runs last season and has collected two home runs in limited action this year.

Detroit is trying to keep pace with the White Sox and Twins in the American League Central.  As of Sunday morning, Chicago has a 2.5 game lead and the Twins are a half-game up on the Tigers.

For now, Lowell remains on the disabled list.  He will need to be activated before a deal can be struck, but the Red Sox were probably close to bringing him back anyway.  After all, he went 4-for-4 with two RBI in a rehab game Saturday at Triple-A Pawtucket.  Sunday may be his last day in the minor leagues.

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.