Brandon Inge clears waivers, accepts assignment to minors

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As expected, Brandon Inge has cleared waivers after being designated for assignment by the Tigers last week and accepted a demotion to Triple-A.

Inge is hitting .177 this season, hasn’t been a productive offensive player since 2006, and is owed around $7.5 million through the end of next season, so it’s no surprise that he went unclaimed.

It’s still possible that the Tigers will eventually be able to find a taker for Inge if they agree to eat the majority of that money in exchange for a low-level prospect, but short of that he simply doesn’t have any value at this point and Detroit may think keeping him around as emergency depth is more useful than a marginal prospect anyway.

For now Inge will play in Toledo while Wilson Betemit takes his old gig in Detroit.

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.