What’s on Tap: Previewing Sunday’s action

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I don’t usually write up a What’s on Tap for Sunday games, but then again, I don’t typically clock in until the mid-afternoon when most of Sunday’s games are nearing completion. So enjoy this treat.

Sunday is a day of redemption for a few pitchers. Stephen Strasburg returns from the disabled list for the Nationals after missing a couple weeks with an upper back injury. He’s putting his perfect 10-0 record on the line, opposing the Reds’ John Lamb in a 1:35 PM EDT matchup. Brandon McCarthy toes the rubber for the Dodgers in his 2016 debut after missing over a year due to Tommy John surgery. He’ll oppose the Rockies’ Jon Gray in a 4:10 PM EDT tiff. And Andrew Cashner is back in action for the Padres after straining his neck early last month. He will try to best the Yankees’ Chad Green starting at 4:40 PM EDT.

In the evening, the Marlins and Braves will square off at Fort Bragg Field, marking the first time a regular season game in any professional sport has been played on an active military base. Major League Baseball is doing this as a way to say “thank you” to servicepeople.

Commissioner Rob Manfred said, “Major League Baseball’s boundless gratitude to our military has led us to a unique event that will benefit the men and women of Fort Bragg and their families for many years. I thank the Braves and the Marlins for their participation and all of our clubs and players for contributing to this gesture, which will stand as a fitting new chapter in the national pastime’s proud and distinguished military history.”

Adam Conley goes for the Marlins and Matt Wisler goes for the Braves in this 8:05 PM EDT event.

The rest of Sunday’s action…

Cleveland Indians (Corey Kluber) @ Toronto Blue Jays (J.A. Happ), 1:07 PM EDT

Chicago Cubs (Jon Lester) @ New York Mets (Noah Syndergaard), 1:10 PM EDT

Detroit Tigers (Mike Pelfrey) @ Tampa Bay Rays (Chris Archer), 1:10 PM EDT

Cincinnati Reds (John Lamb) @ Washington Nationals (Stephen Strasburg), 1:35 PM EDT

Kansas City Royals (Yordano Ventura) @ Philadelphia Phillies (Vince Velasquez), 1:35 PM EDT

Los Angeles Angels (Matt Shoemaker) @ Boston Red Sox (Sean O’Sullivan), 1:35 PM EDT

Chicago White Sox (Jose Quintana) @ Houston Astros (Collin McHugh), 2:10 PM EDT

Texas Rangers (Cole Hamels) @ Minnesota Twins (Kyle Gibson), 2:10 PM EDT

Milwaukee Brewers (Chase Anderson) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Michael Wacha), 2:15 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Pirates (Francisco Liriano) @ Oakland Athletics (Daniel Mengden), 4:05 PM EDT

Baltimore Orioles (Ubaldo Jimenez) @ Seattle Mariners (Hisashi Iwakuma), 4:10 PM EDT

Colorado Rockies (Jon Gray) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (Brandon McCarthy), 4:10 PM EDT

San Francisco Giants (Albert Suarez) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (Robbie Ray), 4:10 PM EDT

New York Yankees (Chad Green) @ San Diego Padres (Andrew Cashner), 4:40 PM EDT

Miami Marlins (Adam Conley) @ Atlanta Braves (Matt Wisler), 8:05 PM EDT

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.