UPDATE: Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said earlier tonight that Rafael Furcal’s broken thumb won’t require surgery, but that he’ll still be sidelined for 4-6 weeks.
8:48 AM: The Dodgers shut the Giants down yesterday, but now it looks like their shortstop is going to be shut down too: Rafael Furcal broke his left thumb sliding into third base in the fifth inning. He stayed in the game until he was pinch-hit for in the seventh, but he said that he knew it was broke as soon as it happened.
Frucal has had a number of injuries in recent years, including a recently-aching wrist, back problems, and hamstring problems. This one is going to put him on the shelf for six weeks.
Furcal hadn’t started hitting yet — he was five for his first 26 to kick off the season — but this is a pretty big loss for the Dodgers. Last year he hit .300/.366/.460 in 96 games. Jamey Carroll, who has started the season off with a hot bat, will take his place. Carroll is no spring chicken — he’s my age for cryin’ out loud — so the Dodgers may soon make a move for some infield depth. In the short term, however, they’ll probably call up Ivan De Jesus, Jr. from Albuquerque.
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.