UPDATE: According to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com, Bronson Arroyo has been diagnosed with mononucleosis. A number of players have missed considerable time with the illness — Jed Lowrie is one recent example — but Arroyo told Sheldon via text message that he does not expect to miss any starts. We’ll see about that one.
2:12 PM: Bronson Arroyo felt good enough to throw 87 pitches in yesterday’s start, but John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that he has “a lingering cough” and underwent blood tests to check for valley fever.
Here’s the definition of valley fever from WebMD.com:
A disease also called coccidioidomycosis due to a fungus called Coccidioides immitis. About 40 percent of people infected with this fungus develop symptoms. Most often they have an influenza-like illness with fever, cough, headaches, rash, and myalgias (muscle pains).
That may not sound particularly worrisome, but valley fever is what caused Conor Jackson to miss nearly all of 2009 while playing for the Diamondbacks and questions about his health lingered into 2010. It can definitely be a very serious thing, but Arroyo told Fay that he expects to make his April 3 start and “they just want to get me on the right medication.”
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.