J.D. Drew catches a lot of heat for his injuries, with many fans thinking of him as some sort of fragile, pampered child. Not so, says Daniel Barbarisi of the Providence Journal:
Drew had bone
spurs in his shoulder that would cause him pain when he swung, often
forcing him to cut short bating practice. The injury bothered him most
during the second half of the season, enough so that he took the last
four days of the regular season off to let it rest, and received a
cortisone shot to settle down any inflammation in the area. The pain
never cleared up, and so after the season Drew went under the knife . . . But this injury
may have been more serious than some realize. Team doctor Thomas Gill
told Drew that if he hadn’t done the surgery this offseason, his
shoulder wouldn’t have made it through 2010.
Despite this Drew still played in 137 games and was quite productive in doing so. And at any rate, I don’t recall him squawking about it.
Baseball is hard. Guys get hurt. Drew more than many guys, but I think his reputation as some sort of slacker is undeserved.
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.