Phil Hughes tests negative for circulatory and vascular issues

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Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York reports that right-hander Phil Hughes tested “negative for all vascular and circulatory conditions,” which eliminates the possibility of thoracic outlet syndrome.

This is really a good news, bad news situation. It’s good in that the Yankees have eliminated one potentially serious possibility, but they’re still searching for answers regarding Hughes’ “dead arm” and diminished velocity.

Hughes posted a 13.94 ERA over his first three starts before being placed on the disabled list on April 15. He averaged just 89.2 mph on his fastball compared to 92.6 mph last season. Hughes attempted to throw last Monday, but was sent for testing after the session did not go well. The mystery continues.

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.