Andrew Bailey over lat pull, cleared to face live hitters

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Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey suffered a minor lat pull while performing vertical leap drills on one of the first days of spring training. But he has already moved past the injury and is ready to begin playing catch-up with the other relievers in camp.

According to WEEI’s Rob Bradford, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said Wednesday that Bailey has been cleared to face live hitters and could soon appear in his first Grapefruit League game.

Here’s Valentine, via WEEI.com:

“Bailey is ready. He threw the bullpen (session on Tuesday). The next time might be to a hitter, but it might be batting practice. We’re going to see how he feels. He might want to jump right into a game. He’s pain-free and feels like he’s throwing the ball fine.”

Bailey was acquired this offseason in a five-player trade with the A’s. The 27-year-old right-hander has registered a 2.07 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 9.0 K/9 in 174 career innings. He also has 75 saves in 84 tries.

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.