Bruce Rondon cleared to resume throwing

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Tigers right-hander Bruce Rondon made just one regular-season appearance after September 2 due to tenderness in his throwing elbow and has not pitched yet in the 2013 postseason. But the hard-throwing 22-year-old Venezuelan is still working to get back.

MLB.com’s Jason Beck reports that Rondon began a throwing program this weekend at the Tigers’ spring training complex in Florida and has experienced no issues so far with his right elbow. He’s only doing light games of catch and still has quite a few hurdles to jump, but the fact that the Tigers are keeping his rehab program going suggests that they believe he could be available if the team is able to advance to the World Series.

Rondon posted a 3.45 ERA and 30 strikeouts across 28 2/3 innings of relief this season for the American League Central-champion Tigers while averaging 97.9 mph with his fastball. He could very well be Detroit’s closer next year, whether or not impending free agent Joaquin Benoit is brought back.

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.