Ryan Madson flies to Cincinnati for elbow exam

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With the Reds still being all hush-hush on his condition, Ryan Madson will travel to Cincinnati to have his ailing elbow examined by Dr. Tim Kremchek on Thursday.

Madson was expected to pitch in a minor league game today, but it was announced last night that he was being scratched. Neither Madson nor team officials have had much to say about the elbow.

“Nothing yet,” manager Dusty Baker said. “He’s won’t be analyzed until tomorrow. He went back to Cincinnati. We won’t know anything until tomorrow.”

Madson looked like one of the bargains of the offseason, signing a one-year deal with the Reds after a four-year pact to stay with the Phillies fell through. If Cincinnati gets bad news tomorrow, it could influence the team’s decision on what to do with Aroldis Chapman. There’s talk that Chapman could be kept as the fifth starter over Homer Bailey, but he may be more attractive as closer insurance if Madson has to miss a chunk of the season.

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.