David Price could return to Grapefruit League on Tuesday

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Rays left-hander David Price injured his neck Thursday while toweling off between innings during a Grapefruit League start against the Tigers.

But it was only a minor tweak and might not affect his spring training throwing program whatsoever.

According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, Price is likely to be cleared to make his regularly scheduled start Tuesday against the Orioles. And if he’s pushed back at all, it will only be for one day.

“When I woke up (on Friday) it felt almost normal,” an optimistic Price told the Times on Saturday.

The 26-year-old southpaw registered a sparkling 3.49 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 34 starts last year for the Wild Card-winning Rays, striking out 218 batters and issuing only 63 walks across 224 1/3 innings of work.

UPDATE, 11:41 AM: Price made it through a bullpen session Sunday, according to Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune, and proclaimed himself ready for Tuesday. The Rays haven’t made anything official.

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.