Joe Mauer is in right field because Luke Hughes went to the wrong gate

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Had things worked out as planned, the Twins would have had Luke Hughes at second base, Trevor Plouffe in right field and Joe Mauer behind the plate tonight against the Yankees.  That Mauer is instead in right field is because Luke Hughes showed up at the wrong airport gate after getting news of his promotion.

Which, frankly, is a little amazing.  Hughes knew last night that he was joining the Twins today, which probably meant that he was flying out of Lehigh Valley International Airport, since Lehigh Valley is where the Rochester Red Wings played Wednesday.  And while I’ve never had the pleasure, I can’t imagine navigating Lehigh Valley International Airport, with its 15 gates between two buildings, could get all that confusing.

So, the Twins are probably none too happy with Hughes at the moment.  And now we’ll get to see if Mauer handles his exposure to unfamiliar territory any better than Hughes did.

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.