GM says Brad Penny "below 50 percent chance" of returning

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Last month the Cardinals abandoned any timetable for Brad Penny’s return from shoulder problems and yesterday general manager John Mozeliak said the injured right-hander has a “below 50 percent chance” of pitching again this season.
Penny last pitched on May 21, so that means he could end up missing five months with what has been described as a “strained lat muscle.” I’m no doctor, but based on my various viewings of ER repeats that strikes me as a really long time for a not-that-serious injury.
Signed to a one-year, $7.5 million deal in the hopes that pitching coach Dave Duncan could work his usual magic on him, Penny pitched well before landing on the disabled list, posting a 3.23 ERA and 35/9 K/BB ratio in 55.2 innings.

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.