Ryan Zimmerman and Matt Holliday return to action

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Ryan Zimmerman returned to the starting lineup for the Nationals on Saturday afternoon against the Brewers, batting third against left-hander Randy Wolf. Zimmerman had been sidelined since last Saturday due to a tight left hamstring, though he did have two pinch-hit appearances this week, including a home run against the Phillies on Thursday.

As of Saturday’s game, Zimmerman was batting .238 (5-for-21) with one home run and four RBI to begin the year.

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, Matt Holliday will be in the starting lineup against Johan Santana and the Mets on Saturday afternoon. Holliday missed Friday’s game due to illness.

Holliday is batting .297 (11-for-37) with three homers and six RBI so far this season.

 

Report: Shohei Ohtani has sprained UCL in pitching elbow

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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.