José Altuve taken off rehab assignment due to leg issue

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Astros second baseman José Altuve has been taken off of his rehab assignment due to “fatigue and soreness” in his surgically-repaired right leg, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports. Altuve returned to Houston to be reevaluated by team doctors.

Altuve, 29, was rehabbing a strained left hamstring. He suffered an avulsion fracture in his right knee and underwent surgery to repair it last October. Altuve got off to a decent start to the season, batting .243/.329/.472 with nine home runs, 21 RBI, and 21 runs scored in 164 plate appearances through May 10, his last game.

Aledmys Díaz had been handling second base in Altuve’s absence, but he was placed on the 10-day injured list on Monday due to a strained left hamstring. Jack Mayfield was called up from Triple-A Round Rock to man second base with the expectation that Altuve would soon return. Mayfield may now get an extended look at the position.

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.