Mookie Betts day-to-day with left side tightness

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Red Sox slugger Mookie Betts was removed from Sunday’s lineup after experiencing tightness in his left side, according to a team announcement. It’s not clear exactly when or how Betts sustained the injury, but he’s considered day-to-day while the Red Sox try to determine whether the issue is more serious than it appears.

Betts, 25, has managed to steer clear of the disabled list throughout his five-year career in the majors. He dealt with a minor bout of hamstring tightness earlier this season and was temporarily held back with a contusion in his right shoulder, but has yet to suffer any significant injuries. Through Saturday, he boasted a .359/.437/.750 batting line with a league-leading 19 doubles, 17 home runs, and 1.187 OPS through 213 PA.

Blake Swihart took Betts’ place in left field for Sunday’s series finale against the Braves. It’s his first start in the outfield since June 2016. The Red Sox currently trail the Braves 4-0 in the fifth inning.

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.