Ramon Ortiz, 37, signs minor league contract with Cubs

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From MLB.com beat writer Carrie Muskat comes word that the Cubs have signed veteran right-hander Ramon Ortiz to a minor league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Iowa.

Ortiz spent the 2010 season with three different organizations — the Dodgers, Mets and Rays — and finished with a 6.30 ERA over 16 major league appearances (two starts).

The 37-year-old will serve as starting rotation depth for the Cubs, who lost both Andrew Cashner and Randy Wells to injuries this past week.

Ortiz has a 4.93 career ERA and 1.42 career WHIP over 274 total appearances. He spent 2008 in Japan.

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.