Astros left-hander Wandy Rodriguez has been scratched from his scheduled Tuesday start and is going to be sidelined for the next week or so due to tendinitis in his throwing shoulder. This according to Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle, who began his story on the matter with a great sentence:
The closest thing to a sure thing on a team with no sure things just became a lot less of a sure thing.
That just about sums it up. Rodriguez posted a sparkling 3.60 ERA and 1.29 WHIP across 32 starts last season for fourth-place Houston, striking out 178 batters in 195 innings and walking only 68.
The Astros inked the 32-year-old southpaw to a three-year, $34 million contract extension this winter and will have to hope that he can get his shoulder back to 100 percent by Opening Day. The ‘Stros open their regular season schedule on April 1 with a three-game series against the Phillies.
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.