Pfun Pfact, via FanGraphs: The White Sox, Indians, Athletics, Red Sox and Mariners have DHs that are hitting worse than the pitchers for the Astros and Diamondbacks. Pitchers for the Padres and Rockies are hitting better than the DHs for Boston and Seattle.
In other news, Jermaine Dye and Gary Sheffield are out of work for some reason,Jack Cust is playing in the minor leagues and Jim Thome blows a kiss to Ozzie Guillen from afar.
Some of this is likely to improve soon, of course. For one thing, Austin Kearns’ recent raking is likely to lead to more of him and less of Travis Hafner in Cleveland. Likewise, Terry Francona’s increasing comfort with pinch hitting for and simply not starting David Ortiz is the sort of thing that can snowball into something fun. Like, say, the Sox simply deciding that Mike Lowell is the better DH option and sending Big Papi packing.
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.