Eric Wedge could return from minor stroke next week

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Mariners manager Eric Wedge has been away from the team since suffering a minor stroke on July 22, but interim manager Robby Thompson said yesterday that Wedge is close to returning.

Thompson told Greg Johns of MLB.com that Wedge is hoping to return during the next homestand, which begins on August 23:

He’s doing really good. He’s doing outstanding. I talked to him yesterday. He’s passing everything with flying colors, he’s feeling much better. And there’s a real good chance that he’ll rejoin us when we get back. That’s kind of where it stands right now.

Seattle is 9-12 with Thompson filling in as manager and it sounds like he may continue to take on an expanded role once Wedge does return.

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.