Taijuan Walker leaves game with right forearm tightness

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Well, this isn’t good. Diamondbacks right-hander Taijuan Walker lasted just two innings into Saturday’s start agains the Dodgers, and it looks like right forearm tightness is to blame. The 25-year-old righty appeared to sustain the injury sometime during the second inning, prompting a mound visit from manager Torey Lovullo and an athletic trainer in the middle of Joc Pederson‘s at-bat, but he was allowed to finish out the inning before making his exit prior to the third. It’s not yet clear how severe the injury is or how long he’ll be sidelined.

This is Walker’s second season with the Diamondbacks. He’s coming off of a career year with the club, during which he went 9-9 in 28 starts with a 3.49 ERA, 3.5 BB/9 and 8.4 SO/9 in 157 1/3 innings. So far this spring, he’s helped string together two wins for the club, including his first quality start (three hits, a run and two walks in six innings) against the Cardinals last week.

Left-hander T.J. McFarland replaced Walker to start the third inning. The Diamondbacks currently lead the Dodgers 8-1 in the bottom of the eighth.

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.