Pirates’ President Coonelly: “there’s work to be done” on Pedro Alvarez’s conditioning

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There was a report last week that Pedro Alvarez had gained 15 unwanted pounds this offseason. Team President Coonelly refuted that yesterday. Somewhat:

“The weight figures reported last week in piratesreport.com were not accurate. Having said that, we have continued to stress to Pedro the critical importance of his conditioning. Pedro has gotten stronger through an extensive offseason conditioning program, but there is still work to be done with respect to body weight and composition.”

If he’s quibbling over the actual number of pounds but not refuting concerns about Alvarez’s overall conditioning, it probably means that there was more than a little something to the initial report.

That said, Alvarez is a young guy. And young guys have this obnoxious habit of being able to shed pounds with very little effort if they put their mind to it.  God I hate them for that.

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.