Matt Wieters may not be back until June


The timetable for Orioles catcher Matt Wieters’ return from Tommy John surgery keeps being pushed. First of May . . . sometime in May . . . now would you believe June?

The hushed hope for catcher Matt Wieters’ return from elbow surgery last June was May 1. Well, that’s here, and he hasn’t played in a real minor league game yet. (He’s been limited to catching parts of extended spring games.) If the progression continues, a minor league rehab assignment is probably on the horizon in a week or two. Wieters doesn’t like to speculate on return dates, so we’ll do it for him. Late May to early June seems reasonable.

Wieters is a free agent after this season. You figure he’s itching to show off his bat and his arm by now. Bright side: it’s unlikely that the Orioles will make him a qualifying offer this fall.

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.