Scott Rolen working his way back from shoulder surgery

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Scott Rolen has already missed five weeks following shoulder surgery that was initially expected to sideline him 4-6 weeks, but the third baseman with a lengthy history of shoulder problems said yesterday that he remains hopeful about playing again this season.

Rolen spent the weekend fielding ground balls and taking swings in the batting cage, telling Jeff Wallner of MLB.com that he’s “close to getting back on the field” and “not too far away.”

He hit just .242 with five homers and a .676 OPS in 65 games before the surgery, but Rolen explained that going under the knife has strengthened his shoulder. Because the Triple-A seasons ends later this week a rehab assignment may not be an option by the time Rolen is ready for game action and he hasn’t faced live pitching since July 20.

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.