Eric Thames was drug tested again after homering on Wednesday

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Brewers slugger Eric Thames has been repeatedly called upon for a drug test this season. A large part of it has to do with the fact that he’s a player coming to the U.S. to play baseball from a foreign country (Korea). Another part of it, presumably, is that Thames got off to a roaring start, blasting 13 home runs in his first 31 games. John Lackey and Chris Bosio, in April, implied Thames used performance-enhancing drugs despite Thames having been tested repeatedly and having passed each of those tests.

Then Thames dealt with some soreness in his lower half and battled strep throat. As a result, between May 10 and May 30, Thames didn’t homer once and hit a meager .156 with just two extra-base hits in 59 plate appearances.

Thames busted out of his slump on Wednesday against the Mets, drilling a two-run home run off of Jacob deGrom in the first inning. He also doubled and walked twice in five trips to the plate. His reward? A “random” drug test, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports. Thames found the situation funny but doesn’t believe that he’s being randomly selected.

Thames went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts in Thursday’s win over the Mets. There were no reports that Thames had to provide another sample after this particular contest.

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.