Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez is on absolute tear at the plate.
He slugged a three-run homer in Saturday night’s 6-0 rout of the Yankees and now has seven home runs and 13 RBI in his past eight games. The 29-year-old is batting .345 with an .836 slugging percentage in the month of May.
Gonzalez has also started every game thus far on the Red Sox’ schedule. Only Jacoby Ellsbury can also claim that feat.
“A-Gone” hit a rough patch or two in his debut month with Boston — his OPS sat at .746 on April 15 — but those struggles are well behind him and there’s no reason to think that he can’t keep the good times rolling all season. He’s currently sporting a .961 OPS, nine longballs and 34 runs batted in through 39 games played.
According to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, only five players in franchise history have roared out to such a fine offensive start. Manny Ramirez had 13 homers and 46 RBI through 38 games in 2001, Jimmie Foxx had 11 homers and 35 RBI through 38 games in 1936, Ted Williams had 8 homers and 38 RBI as a rookie in 1939, Walt Dropo had 10 homers and 34 RBI as a rookie in 1949, and Carl Everett smashed 13 homers and 38 RBI through his first 38 games in 2000. Decent company, eh?
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.