Nationals place Jayson Werth on the disabled list with wrist injury

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Washington has placed left fielder Jayson Werth on the disabled list with a left wrist contusion, which is the corresponding move that convinced the Nationals to call up 23-year-old infield prospect Wilmer Difo well ahead of schedule.

Werth was hit on the wrist by a pitch Friday and no structural damage was discovered during an MRI exam, but he’ll be shut down for at least two weeks.

Despite calling up Difo from Double-A the Nationals figure to use Michael Taylor as Werth’s replacement. He previously filled in for Denard Span in center field and has hit .250 with three homers and a .740 OPS in 26 games overall as a 24-year-old rookie.

Werth, who missed the first week of the season recovering from shoulder surgery, heads back to the disabled list with a .208 batting average and .581 OPS in 27 games this year.

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.