Rays place Reid Brignac on bereavement, add Felipe Lopez

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Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times passes along word that the Rays have placed shortstop Reid Brignac on the bereavement list and selected the contract of Felipe Lopez from Triple-A Durham.

Brignac lost his grandfather Saturday and is expected to miss four games to attend the funeral.

Lopez was designated for assignment in early May then outrighted to Triple-A Durham after batting just .222/.263/.347 with only five extra-base hits in 76 plate appearances. He also drew the ire of Rays manager Joe Maddon at one point for not hustling.

Brignac was named the Rays’ starting shortstop after a strong defensive showing at spring training, but he has hit just .170 with a brutal .370 OPS in 35 games since the start of the regular season. Elliot Johnson has begun seeing much more playing time recently and will fill in at shortstop for however long Brignac needs.

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.