Indians starter Mike Clevinger to have knee surgery

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When the Indians traded former ace Corey Kluber this past winter a lot of people raised their eyebrows. In response, a other people said that, actually, Mike Clevinger and Shane Bieber lead the pitching staff now, and Kluber was expendable.

Guess Bieber is going to have a bit more weight on his shoulders in the early going this year, because the Indians announced this morning that Clevinger is out with knee surgery. He’ll have an operation today to repair a partial tear in the meniscus of his left knee.

The club has not yet put a timetable on his return, but it’s worth noting that Phillies starter Jake Arrieta had meniscus surgery in late January/early February and was ready to go the first week of the season. If Clevinger follows that path, he shouldn’t miss too much time. Craig Kimbrel missed seven weeks after meniscus surgery in 2016. All of which is to say, it’s not super clear how bad this is.

Clevinger was limited to 21 starts and 126 innings of work last season due to back and ankle problems, but he registered a 2.71 ERA and 12.1 K/9 when healthy, making him an ace. An ace the Indians really need to get back soon if they intend to compete with the Twins and White Sox in the AL Central this season.

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.