Out since mid-June with a knee injury, Carlos Beltran is expected to rejoin the Mets tonight.
New York has gone 27-42 since Beltran landed on the disabled list, which makes his opting against simply sitting out the final four weeks of a lost season pretty admirable.
Here’s what Beltran had to say about his decision:
I don’t want to sit back. I’m a ballplayer. When you’re a ballplayer, your job is being able to rehab yourself and if that’s the last game of the season, then play the last game of the season. That’s what we’re here for, that’s what we get paid for.
Beltran was having an MVP-caliber season prior to going on the shelf, doing his usual solid work defensively while hitting .336/.425/.527 with 29 extra-base hits, 11 steals, 40 RBIs, and 40 runs in 60 games despite playing through the knee injury for half that time. I’ve long felt that Beltran was among the more underappreciated stars in baseball and his trying to finish this year on something resembling a high note makes me an even bigger fan.
The Angels signed Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani for a $2.3 million signing bonus last weekend. They may have damaged goods on their hands. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Ohtani underwent a physical that revealed a first-degree sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. As a result, he got a platelet-rich plasma injection on October 20. This was made known to teams after Ohtani entered MLB’s posting system, so it wasn’t like the Angels went into this blind.
Ohtani’s report said, “Although partial damage of UCL in deep layer of his right UCL exists, he is able to continue full baseball participation with sufficient elbow care program.” It also said Ohtani “will most likely be available to start his throwing program approximately a month from the PRP.”
Passan notes that the report also mentioned that a “small free body” floats in Ohtani’s elbow near his UCL.
Ohtani isn’t without other injuries. He battled hamstring and ankle issues throughout 2017 and underwent right ankle surgery back in October. Thankfully for the Angels, this diagnosis is about as good as it could be considering the circumstances. However, if Ohtani does exacerbate his UCL issue, he may ultimately need Tommy John surgery at some point, which would take him out of action for at least a year.