D.J. Carrasco and Bobby Parnell to work seventh and eighth innings in front of Francisco Rodriguez

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New manager Terry Collins laid out the Mets’ bullpen plan to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com, saying that he expects D.J. Carrasco to work the seventh inning and Bobby Parnell to work the eighth inning setting up closer Francisco Rodriguez.

Parnell made a team-high 68 appearances as a rookie in 2009, but then spent the first three months of last season at Triple-A before being called up in late June. He was very impressive after that, appearing in 41 of the final 93 games while posting a 2.83 ERA and 33/8 K/BB ratio in 35 innings.

Parnell is a prototypical late-inning reliever, as his average fastball clocked in at 96.5 miles per hour for the fifth-highest velocity among all pitchers who logged at least 30 innings in 2010. Carrasco doesn’t quite fit that same mold, averaging just 90.4 mph with his fastball, but he’s posted a sub-4.00 ERA in three straight years. They’re a solid setup duo, although the overall success of the Mets’ bullpen hinges on Rodriguez being healthy and non-violent in 2011.

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.