UPDATE, 10:24 PM: Zuckerman reports that Strasburg has a strained flexor tendon in his right forearm. That’s an early diagnosis, and he’s scheduled to undergo an MRI on Sunday in the nation’s capital.
UPDATE, 9:52 PM: Here’s an update: There is no update. According to Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider, the Nats are expected to address the injury after tonight’s game.
8:45 PM: Normally we try to ease the panic and keep order around these parts, but this isn’t good.
Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg was lifted from his start against the Phillies on Saturday with an apparent elbow injury. He delivered a 2-1 pitch to Philadelphia outfielder Domonic Brown and then looked to be in a good deal of pain while shaking the elbow on his throwing arm. The Nats, of course, pulled him immediately.
Strasburg, 22, had thrown four-plus innings of one-run ball against a tough Phillies lineup. He ended the night with six strikeouts against zero walks.
Whether the injury proves serious or not, we’re thinking that the Nationals will call it a season for their young ace. He’s up to 68 major league innings and turned in 55.1 this year in the minors. That’s a total of 123.1 frames. He topped out at 109 innings last year for San Diego State.
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.