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March 20, 2023

Phillies injury updates as regular season approaches

Will the Phillies start 2023 with anyone on the injured list (besides Bryce Harper)?

The Phillies have done their best to try and juggle getting ready for the regular season with staying healthy, and from a macro perspective they've succeeded — as their lineup will likely be mostly intact when the season starts at the end of March.

But there are a few big name players who are still battling health issues. Here's a quick look at the latest on some key injured Phillies:

Bryce Harper, RF/DH

If anyone can make a speedy return from Tommy John surgery, it's Bryce Harper. Harper reported to camp last week and has begun throwing the ball just a little bit — though not yet on back-to-back days. The initial timeline of the All-Star Break for his return to the lineup seems to be the most likely scenario, though there does seem to be optimism that perhaps he'll be fully healthy by the start of July.

We'll learn more about Harper's recovery and grind toward returning in the coming months as he ramps up his baseball activity. But having him in the clubhouse down in Clearwater helping the rest of the team prepare for the season is a veteran move that should surprise no one.

Andrew Painter, SP

The Phillies erred on the side of caution when the best pitching prospect the organization has had in ages had some arm tenderness after an impressive first spring start. There was some worry that the injury would be a major setback but that appears not to be the case.

Expect to see Painter suit up and start in Triple-A a few times before making his MLB debut sometime this spring, perhaps as a sixth starter, or an injury replacement. 

Ranger Suárez, SP

Suárez, unlike Painter, is a shoe-in to start one of the Phillies first five games and a forearm injury doesn't look like it will derail that plan for the Phillies.

As a precaution, the Phillies plan to have some of their relievers stretched out to toss multiple innings, and Michael Plassmeyer and Matt Straham look like two potential innings eaters/spot starters who could wind up making key early contributions.

Garrett Stubbs, C

The Phillies' major league backup backstop got hurt playing for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic, but luckily his knee injury is not serious and he is currently listed as day-to-day. It seems probable he'll be able to get a few warm up games in toward the end of spring training and break camp with the big league team.

Nick Nelson, RP

Nelson will start the year on the injured list with a hamstring injury. He was battling for the last bullpen spot on the 26-man roster.

Cristopher Sanchez, RP

Sanchez was another hurler trying to be opportunistic in spring training. However with velocity down the team shut him down after saying he has a triceps injury.

Rafael Marchan, C

Likely the No. 3 catcher in the system, Marchan has a bruised hand that has kept him from hitting. He likely will not be ready when the season starts.

Noah Song, RP

A back injury will put Song on the injured list to start the year. He will be out a few weeks, Dave Dombrowski said Sunday. Once healthy, the Rule-5 pick must spent 90 days on the active roster. 

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