Yunel Escobar’s helmet collided with Andy LaRoche’s knee as the Blue Jays shortstop slid into third base for a fifth-inning triple last night and he later left the game after experiencing what manager John Farrell described as “persistent dizziness.”
Escobar underwent concussion tests last night, which according to Farrell includes a CAT scan and cervical X-ray. There’s no word yet on his status, but Escobar is out of the lineup for today’s game and seems like a good candidate to be the first player placed on MLB’s new seven-day disabled list for concussions that was introduced last month.
Twins first baseman Justin Morneau suffered a concussion on a similar play last July while playing against the Blue Jays, as his helmet made contact with John McDonald’s knee as he slid into second base trying to break up a double play. Morneau ended up being sidelined for nine months, but there’s obviously no reason to assume the worst with Escobar. For now the Blue Jays are “cautiously optimistic” he’ll be fine.
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.