Brian Wilson was unavailable yesterday for the second straight game because of elbow inflammation and Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News writes that the Giants’ closer is unlikely to pitch again before Monday.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that Wilson has avoided the disabled list so far and Dr. James Andrews advised against surgery after finding no structural damage during an exam Wednesday.
Giants trainer Dave Groeschner noted that Wilson “has a remarkable ability to recover” and described his elbow problems as “the typical pitching stuff that you see all the time.”
Wilson has been plenty effective this season, but his performance has dropped off considerably compared to last year. Not only has his ERA risen from 1.81 to 3.19, his strikeouts are down 22 percent, his walks are up 65 percent, and his average fastball velocity is 1.5 miles per hour slower.
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.