Shin-Soo Choo making progress, will hit off tee Thursday

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Indians right fielder Shin-Soo Choo is on the right track to this point in his ongoing recovery from late-June surgery on his fractured left thumb.

According to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com, the Korean-born outfielder has been playing catch comfortably from a distance of 90 feet and is scheduled to hit baseballs off a tee Thursday for the first time since his June thumb procedure.

If he can avoid setbacks, Choo should arrive back in the major leagues by late August or early September.

The 29-year-old was batting just .244/.333/.353 with five home runs and 11 stolen bases through 306 plate appearances this season, but he has an .853 career OPS and could play a huge role for the Tribe down the stretch if they’re able to remain relevant in his absence.

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.