Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels both available in relief tonight

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The Phillies would prefer that Roy Halladay take care of business tonight against the Cardinals, but he has some pretty good reinforcements if needed.

According to David Hale of the Wilmington News Journal, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said this afternoon that both Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels are available in relief for Game 5. Lee allowed five runs over six innings in Game 2 on Sunday while Hamels tossed six shutout innings in Game 3 on Tuesday.

If the situation presents itself, Manuel said he would likely go with Lee first. If Halladay doesn’t need any help and the Phillies advance, Lee would be lined up to start Game 1 of the NLCS on Sunday. If only Lee is used and the Phillies advance, we could see Cole Hamels start Game 1. Of course, if the Phillies lose tonight, none of this will matter.

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.