Clay Buchholz throws bullpen session

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Clay Buchholz continues to make progress from a stress fracture in his lower back.

According to Brian McPherson of the Providence Journal, Buchholz threw 30 pitches in a bullpen session this afternoon. He could advance to a simulated game as soon as Monday, though the Red Sox could decide to push him back a day because of their doubleheader against the Orioles.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona told Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston.com that Buchholz is still a possibility to return before the end of the regular season. The 27-year-old right-hander hopes to pitch in relief if the Red Sox make the postseason.

Buchholz hasn’t pitched since June 17 due to the injury. He has a 3.48 ERA and 60/31 K/BB ratio in 82 2/3 innings over 14 starts this season.

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.