Andrew Bailey could miss the start of the regular season because of a right thumb injury

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Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey is in danger of missing the beginning of the 2012 season due to soreness in his right thumb. Sean McAdam of CSNNewEngland.com has more:

The last time Bailey pitched, it was in a minor league game, which would seem to indicate that the Sox are contemplating placing him the disabled list to start the season. It’s much easier to backdate a player — placing him on the DL retroactively — when he hasn’t pitched in a major league spring training game in a while.

Specifically, the DL stint could be backdated to March 26, allowing Bailey to return to big league action on April 10.

The 27-year-old right-hander averaged under 45 appearances in his last two seasons as the Athletics’ ninth-inning man due to a variety of ailments. It seems he has carried that injury-proneness with him to Boston.

Alfredo Aceves, who was bumped from the rotation race Sunday, could be asked to fill in at closer.

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.