Frank Francisco unavailable after feeling shoulder soreness warming up

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Toronto closer Jon Rauch is out following an emergency appendectomy, so Frank Francisco was warming up to pitch the ninth inning of a 1-0 game yesterday when his shoulder started barking.

Francisco stopped throwing and the Blue Jays instead let Casey Janssen finish the game by pitching a third inning.

Today is an off day for the Blue Jays, but Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports that Francisco will likely be examined by doctors before being cleared to pitch Tuesday, with a trip to the disabled list potentially looming.

Francisco has pitched very well since losing his closer job to Rauch in mid-July, allowing just one run in 13 innings with an 11/1 K/BB ratio, but he has a history of arm problems and spent time on the DL earlier this season with a strained pectoral muscle that was initially classified as a shoulder injury.

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.