Phil Hughes ready for minor league rehab assignment

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After throwing an extended bullpen session earlier this afternoon, Phil Hughes told Chad Jennings of the Journal News that he expects to make his first minor league rehab start in five days.

“I felt like balls were coming out pretty good,” Hughes said. “We’ll have to wait and see.”

While Hughes isn’t sure where he’ll report to make the start, Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild told him he’s probably going to throw about five innings.

Hughes was placed on the disabled list earlier this month with a “dead arm” after he showed diminished velocity while posting a 13.94 ERA over his first three starts. He has averaged just 89.2 mph on his heater this season compared to 92.6 mph last season.

There was no radar gun in the bullpen today, but you can bank on hearing plenty of reports when he makes his first rehab start on Thursday.

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.