DJ LeMahieu lands on 10-day DL with sprained left thumb

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The Rockies announced ahead of Monday night’s game against the Padres that second baseman DJ LeMahieu has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a sprained left thumb. Infielder Pat Valaika has been recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque.

LeMahieu, 29, is believed to have suffered the injury during one of his plate appearances against the Brewers on Sunday. He had been activated from the DL last week after recovering from a strained right hamstring, so it’s been a rough month for him.

In 143 trips to the plate this season, LeMahieu is batting .279/.350/.457 with five home runs and 13 RBI. Valaika and Daniel Castro are expected to handle second base while LeMahieu is out, as they did during his first DL stint.

Valaika, 25, has hit a disappointing .103/.175/.155 in 64 plate appearances in the majors this season. Castro hasn’t been any better, batting .143/.143/.143 in 21 PA.

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.