“(Bryce Harper) Could be back hitting competitively by mid-May,” Salisbury added.
Harper previously elected to receive surgery, but it was unknown what kind of procedure he would undergo. This report confirms it was Tommy John. TJ carries the potential to force pitchers to miss entire seasons. But Bryce Harper should be ready to roll fairly early during the 2023 season. Although he won't be playing outfield any time soon, Harper could return as a DH in May according to this report.
UPDATE: Following the initial news, the Phillies released a more official timeline for Bryce Harper.
“The prognosis is for Bryce to be returning as the designated hitter by the All-Star break of 2023 with a possible return to play right field towards the end of the regular season.”
What Bryce Harper's Tommy John surgery means for Phillies
The Phillies have a decision to make. If they are confident in Brandon Marsh's ability, they could roll with an outfield of Marsh, Kyle Schwarber, and Nick Castellanos. However, Philadelphia could also scout the market for outfield talent amid Bryce Harper's Tommy John surgery.
Marsh flashed signs of potential last season and may have won the Phillies' trust. Philadelphia's most pressing offensive need stems from the infield. They have been linked to a number of free agent shortstops including Bryce Harper's former teammate Trea Turner. A lineup with Harper, Turner, Schwarber, Castellanos, Marsh, JT Realmuto, Rhys Hoskins, and Alec Bohm would almost be unfair.
It will certainly be interesting to see how Harper's TJ update affects the team's free agency strategy. If they opt to go in a different direction in centerfield, the Los Angeles Dodgers previously non-tendered Cody Bellinger, and Bellinger could be a player who draws interest from Philadelphia.