Tigers choose Will Rhymes as Opening Day second baseman

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Carlos Guillen’s slower-than-expected recovery from knee surgery forced the Tigers to consider other options at second base and after giving some thought to sacrificing defense for offense with Ryan Raburn manager Jim Leyland has settled on Will Rhymes.

Rhymes actually led the Tigers in second base starts last season with 46 and in giving him the job until Guillen returns they also sent last year’s Opening Day second baseman, Scott Sizemore, back to Triple-A.

Sizemore is in danger of falling out of the Tigers’ plans less than a year after looking like their long-term answer at second base, as injuries derailed him and he failed to turn heads in the minors.

Rhymes hit well in 54 games as a 27-year-old rookie, but based on his modest track record he’s probably not a long-term answer either. He is on Twitter, though.

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.