Dodgers place Hong-Chih Kuo on DL with strained back

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Dodgers setup man Hong-Chih Kuo has been injured since spring training, but he was placed on the 15-day disabled list just yesterday because he didn’t bother to tell anyone.

According to Jill Painter of the Los Angeles Daily News, Kuo strained a muscle in his lower back in March and tried to pitch through it before the Dodgers finally asked him to take an MRI this weekend and found the root of his problems.

Kuo hit the DL before Saturday night’s game and left behind a 3.38 ERA and 1.88 WHIP. Known mostly for having great control, he’s already walked four batters in just over two innings.

“We were wondering why he was always leaving (pitches) up, up, up, all the time always up,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “He had trouble getting the ball down, even in the pen. The same thing happened (Friday) when he warmed up. We had to do something.”

The Dodgers called up righty Ramon Troncoso from Triple-A Albuquerque to serve as Kuo’s temporary replacement. Right now, the club does not have a left-hander in the bullpen.

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.