DeGrom returns to Mets after infant son’s health scare

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ATLANTA (AP) Jacob deGrom returned to the New York Mets on Saturday and says all is well with his infant son, Jaxon, following a scare the pitcher revealed was a breathing problem.

DeGrom will start Sunday against the Atlanta Braves after missing one turn because of a sore right lat muscle and another start due to his son’s health concern.

DeGrom says his son had a form of apnea that caused him to stop breathing after falling asleep.

“It was definitely scary,” deGrom said. “He had to be checked into the NICU and they had to monitor him in there but when all the tests came back and nothing was seriously wrong we were pretty relieved. But at first it was a scary time.”

Concerns were relieved after Jaxon was monitored for five consecutive nights without the problem recurring. The baby is home with deGrom’s wife, Stacy.

“The doctors said they go looking for problems but you don’t really want to find any,” deGrom said. “And luckily they didn’t find any. He’s doing great now.”

Now deGrom’s new concern is learning how to change diapers.

“That I’m still struggling with!” he said.

Manager Terry Collins said deGrom may be limited to 85 pitches on Sunday. DeGrom threw 71 pitches in a simulated game in Florida on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is not playing in Saturday night’s game against the Braves after aggravating his bruised right leg while sliding into second with a double in Friday night’s game. He left the game an inning later.

Collins said Cespedes may be held out more than one day.

“I’m concerned that it might be, yeah,” Collins said. “The bruise is pretty big. It’s looking pretty bad.”

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.