Hamstring injury sends Twins infielder Alexi Casilla to DL

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Alexi Casilla pulled up lame while heading into second base with a double last night and an MRI exam revealed a hamstring strain, so he’s bound for the disabled list.

Casilla’s overall numbers are nothing special, but he’s hit reasonably well while playing solid defense since moving from shortstop to second base and as usual the Twins’ lack of infield depth makes losing him especially tough.

Matt Tolbert was called up from Triple-A and is starting in Casilla’s place tonight despite being a career .229 hitter with zero power, but presumably manager Ron Gardenhire will eventually see that giving Trevor Plouffe a chance at second base is the much, much higher-upside option.

Casilla is the one-millionth Twins player to spend time on the DL this year. Or maybe it just seems that way.

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.