Reds call back lefty Travis Wood for Thursday start

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The Reds optioned rookie left-hander Travis Wood to Triple-A Louisville in early August in an attempt to limit his innings total.  Well, that’s all over.  He was called back to the big leagues on Thursday afternoon and is scheduled to start this evening against the Diamondbacks.

Wood, 23, has posted a 2.65 ERA and 0.88 WHIP this season in his first eight major league starts, striking out 40 batters and walking only 13 over 51 innings.  Whether the time off and extended rest will affect his rhythm remains to be seen, but our guess is that it won’t.  He has not once looked over-matched this season.

The Reds have a three-game lead over the Cardinals in the National League Central and are going for a sweep of the Diamondbacks in Arizona on Thursday.  Wood should remain an active member of the Cincinnati starting rotation down the stretch as the Reds attempt to reach the playoffs for the first time since 1995.

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.