Phillies activate catcher Carlos Ruiz from the disabled list

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Roy Oswalt’s stay on the disabled list may not be as short as initially hoped and Chase Utley still isn’t ready to return from knee problems, but the Phillies will at least have Carlos Ruiz back in the lineup tonight.

Ruiz has been activated from the DL after missing the past 12 games with a strained lower back and his return comes at a particularly good time because the Phillies placed backup catcher Brian Schneider on the DL with a hamstring injury yesterday.

Ruiz, who hit just .226 with two homers and a .681 OPS in 21 games before the injury, will resume starting 4-5 times per week behind the plate with Dane Sardinha replacing Schneider as Chooch’s understudy.

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.