Blue Jays grant outfielder Scott Podsednik his release

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Shi Davidi of Canada’s Sportsnet passes along word that veteran outfielder Scott Podsednik has been granted his request for an unconditional release from the Blue Jays organization.

Podsednik signed a minor league contract with the Jays over the winter that carried a potential $1 million in total value, but an old case of plantar fasciitis caught up with him during spring training and he was forced to open the regular season on the sidelines.

His foot condition progressively got better as he moved through extended spring training, but he fell flat offensively once he was shipped off to Triple-A Las Vegas in mid-April. The speedy 35-year-old posted a .254/.366/.356 batting line across 71 plate appearances for the 51s before finally throwing in the towel on Wednesday afternoon. He tallied three stolen bases in three chances.

Podsednik will presumably seek another opportunity. He didn’t draw much attention on the free agent market this offseason, but it’s possible that a club will get desperate enough for outfield depth and take a chance.

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.