Orioles’ Matt Wieters placed on paternity leave

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BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Orioles have placed starting catcher Matt Wieters on paternity leave.

Wieters left the team Saturday to join his wife, Maria, who is due to give birth to the couple’s second child.

Wieters, a four-time All Star, is batting .240 with 10 homers and 45 RBIs in 91 games.

Baltimore recalled Francisco Pena from Triple-A Norfolk to be the second catcher behind Caleb Joseph. Pena played in nine games with the Orioles this season while Joseph was on the disabled list.

The Orioles also recalled pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne from Norfolk. The reliever replaced Tyler Wilson, who was optioned to Norfolk late Friday.

In 15 games with the Orioles this season, Despaigne is 0-2 with a 4.81 ERA.

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.