Hunter Strickland out ‘at least a couple months’ with lat strain

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Mariners closer Hunter Strickland has been diagnosed with a Grade 2 lat strain,’s Greg Johns reports. Manager Scott Servais said that Strickland will be out “at least a couple months.” The club will go with a closer-by-committee for the time being.

Strickland said, “It sucks, but you have to find the positives. At least I’ll be back at some point this season.”

Strickland was unable to convert the save on Friday against the Red Sox, giving up three runs in one-third of an inning. The Mariners lost 7-6. Strickland initially attributed the hiccup to tightness in the back of his shoulder.

The Mariners signed Strickland to a one-year, $1.3 million contract in late January. He did look solid in his first two appearances of the season in Japan, as he tossed two perfect innings with three strikeouts. In Strickland’s absence, Gory Gearrin, Zac Rosscup, Nick Rumbelow, and Matt Festa could all see save chances. So, too, could Anthony Swarzak, who should be activated from the disabled list this week. A little birdy tells me there’s still a really good closer on the free agent market.

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.