Phillies place Ben Lively on 10-day disabled list with lower back strain

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The Phillies have placed right-hander Ben Lively on the 10-day disabled list with a lower back strain, according to an announcement on Friday. In a corresponding move, right-handed reliever Jack Thompson has been recalled from Triple-A LeHigh Valley.

The team has yet to reveal the severity of Lively’s injury, but the 26-year-old righty was believed to have sustained — or, at the very least exacerbated — a bout of back tightness during a disastrous outing against the Diamondbacks on Thursday. Lively was pegged for seven runs on seven hits, four walks and two home runs in 2 1/3 innings of the Phillies’ 8-2 loss. It was the shortest outing of his major-league career to date.

Prior to Thursday’s implosion, the right-hander carried an 0-1 record in four starts, with a 4.34 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 through 21 1/3 innings. He’s still looking to improve on last year’s totals, when he turned in a 4.26 ERA and 0.8 fWAR with the team during his rookie campaign.

In the interim, Jack Thompson will take his place on Philadelphia’s roster. Thompson, 24, got off to a rough start in Triple-A this season, issuing 12 runs, three home runs, seven walks and just eight strikeouts in his first 10 innings pitched. As for Lively’s replacement in the rotation, no one has been named yet, though right-handers Drew Hutchison and Zach Eflin could be potential stopgaps until he returns.

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.