Cubs activate Ryan Dempster, Kerry Wood from DL

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Chicago’s pitching staff is getting a big boost today, as the Cubs activated both Ryan Dempster and Kerry Wood from the disabled list while sending Randy Wells and Scott Maine back to Triple-A.

Dempster has been out since April 18 with a quadriceps injury, while Wood has been sidelined by a shoulder injury since April 14.

Earlier this week manager Dale Sveum indicated that he might work Wood back into the late-inning mix somewhat slowly, perhaps giving him some appearances in the sixth- and seventh-innings as opposed to his usual eighth-inning role.

Dempster will return with a start this afternoon versus the Reds in Cincinnati, where he pitched for two seasons before joining the Cubs in 2004.

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.